Written by thehedonista
Upon awakening this morning, I could not see out my windows. Lion asked me if it had been raining – the condensation was thick and punctuated with large rivulets that revealed the jungle our garden has become. But if I look out the windows on the second storey, I can see nothing but beige. The light is dull, the sun shrouded in mother earth’s pollution – dust and humidity.
The streets are silent, but for a man in orange sweeping the curb and a gardener in grubby shalwar qameez dragging a rusty lawn mower behind his bike. The joggers and dog walkers are nowhere to be seen. Even bus children wait in the air conditioned zone on their front doorsteps until the last moment when the school bus toots. Outside has become the wild frontier – only the strong, mad or unfortunate will brave it.
My day revolves around thirty second walks between my car and cooled venues I leave early and ensure I arrive in time to secure a good carpark at my destination. Others flout the rules and double park wherever they please, knowing the parking ticket is worth it to avoid the long walk in the heat. Not that there are many parking inspectors on the job anyway.
On the radio, the news reader reminds us to check our tyres for tread and inflation. Bitumen can get to 70ºC on days like this, hot enough to cause a second degree burn in 1 second, and of course cause tyre blowouts. I am also careful not to leave my purse in the car when I lock it – not because of theft, which is a rare occurence here, but because my credit cards could melt.
Today I brave Karama. The folks back home want a collection of good cheap knock-offs. Even the polo shirts hanging outside on racks are hot to the touch. Inside they have the AC set to max. A haze of humidity gathers at the door where the temperatures clash, and no matter which way you are walking, you end up damp on the other side. My handbag man gives me a cuddle upon sealing the deal, and he recoils in soggy horror after accidentally touching my sweaty shirt-back.
At pick-up, all the parents run from car to school foyer, where we wait illegally till the last moment. We have been instructed not to clutter the public areas, but the thought of waiting outside is sickening. Small talk with other mothers has all but ceased. Our sedentary indoor lifestyle provides little in the way of news and anecdotes. Besides, the heat makes us tired.
Everyone is tired. We get no sunshine and are all vitamin D deficient. We are lethargic, moody, and our viruses keep circulating in the perpetual air-conditioning, so we are all sick. There are those who work outside, and they are sicker, with heatstroke, never-ending headaches, urinary tract infections, high blood pressure, and other effects of extreme heat and dehydration. Heat-related deaths are not unheard of. Outdoor labour is banned between the hours of 12:30 and 3:30, but this is often ignored. I see them in their blue overalls, wet from the shoulders to the waist, faces stained with dust and salt. They wrap scarves on their heads in meager protection – I wonder if it actually makes them hotter. At the traffic lights, from my air conditioned car, I see them peering through my windows, and I wonder how they can keep the malice from their tired stares. After all, I may not be their boss, but my life in Dubai supports this employment and everything that comes with it.
Sometimes they even smile, and it makes me want to cry.
At home, I put on a new DVD for the kids, and we break the Lego construction from yesterday so we can start again. We play foozball, UNO, build cubby houses with chairs and blankets. I bake, and blog, and then blog about baking, and eventually, in our boredom we slump on the couch and eat cupcakes.
On the weekend we go to malls. We shop, walk, ski, skate, abseil, play pinball, take rollercoaster rides, and terrify tots in playcentres, all in malls. We eat in the malls. We buy things we don’t need. We stop for coffee we don’t want. It’s all expensive, and every moment we look forward to the day we can get back in our pool. For it remains in the central yard of our compound, a tempting yet deceitful cool blue colour, but hotter than a bath.
This week we have visitors – friends of my parents. We were supposed to go out Tuesday, but Margot was struck down by the suffocating air and spent the first 36 hours doubling and tripling her asthma medication so she could breathe.
Based on reading about dress codes for women and recently seeing the movie Wadjda , which is set in Saudia Arabia
- Dress codes started when living in tribes and women may have only needed to cover themselves when there were outside male visitors
Plenty of access to the sun most of the time
- Dress codes continued when people moved to cities
Women still got vitamin D in courtyards or rooftops - not wear excessive clothes when men from the family could not see them
Even being in the shade the women would get about 1/3 the amount of vitamin D/hour
- Air conditioning became prevalent in the last portion of the 20th century, allowing people to escape the heat
Rate of Multiple Sclerosis in women has gone up 6X in the past 30 years in Tehran (MS is strongly related to lack of vitamin D)
- Predict that rickets will make its appearance soon in the Middle East
Turkey managed to reduce rate of rickets by 60X by giving 400 IU of vitamin D to EVERY child
Hajab prevalence: Wikipedia
Middle East: Everything on this map is North of the Equator
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The following is an annotated list of reasons for vitamin D deficiency
ME = especially in the Middle East
Less time in the SUN
- Air conditioning - to avoid the hot sun ME
- Increased use of multi-media indoors
- More indoor jobs - more office workers, fewer farmers ME
- Living in cities more ME
- Want whiter skin - especially women ME
- Fear skin cancer
- Cholesterol reduced
- More Obesity
- Soft drink cola
- Meat from factory farms
- Some drugs consume or block vitamin D
- increased use of polyunsaturated fats
- More windows which appear to destroy vitamin D
Other than sun
- Eat less liver - which used to have very large amounts of vitamin D ME
Unsure how the meat was killed
- Less Magnesium in foods
- More Seniors
- Excessive clothing (burka) ME
Note: Women in ME have much less vitamin D than men
- Have a condition which Consumes vitamin D
- Have a condition which Prevents Adsorption in the gut
- Have a condition which Prevents Conversion to active form
- Have a condition which requires more vitamin D
- Lactose Intolerance or Vegan
- Health reasons to avoid sun
- Work long hours or night shift
- Live far from equator NOT ME
- DDT in bodies reduce the vitamin D
- Myths about vitamin D
- Dark Skin ME
- Use vitamin D2 avoiding D3 from wool and gelatin typically made from animals ME
Note: D2 is known to have less benefit than D3, and it may actually DECREASE D3 levels
Note: As of 2012 many companies make Kosher/Vegan Vitamin D3
Note: Vegi-caps do exist
- Lack vitamin D fortification of food and drinks ME
Details on above list are HERE
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See also VitaminDWiki
- International Symposium on Vitamin D Deficiency - Abu Dhabi March 2012 and 2013
- All items in category Middle East 48 items
- Vitamin D deficiency in Middle East and North Africa - June 2013
- 23 ng of vitamin D in sunny Israel – Dec 2010
- High Prevalence of Vitamin D Insufficiency in Athletes and Dancers in Israel
- Arab pre-term infants often have less than 10 ng of vitamin D - 2010 also a very sunny climate
- Doubling of people less than 30 ng of vitamin D - 75% of whites and 90% of blacks – Feb 2010
- Even in Sunny Areas, Vitamin D Intake Often Too Low - May 2010
- Less than 4 ng is more common in Saudis than diabetic Saudis – July 2010
- Parkinson disease increased in Israel by 50 % in 7 years – June 2011
- Red Alert – one in three pre-teens in Tehran had less than 5 ng of vitamin D – Feb 2011
- Iranian vitamin D levels 13 ng summer, 12 ng winter – June 2011
- Jordanian women vitamin D – 16 ng if Western Dress – 12 ng otherwise – Aug 2011
- Osteoporosis increasing and vitamin D decreasing in Middle East - Oct 2011
- Excessive clothes and being indoors results in very low vitamin D levels – Nov 2011
- Avoid the hot sun and thus vitamin D in the Middle East – Oct 2011
- 70 % of Saudi women <10 ng, but only 40 % of men – March 2012
- People in Louisiana may be avoiding the hot sun like those in Middle East – May 2012 similar result
- Vitamin D levels in the Middle East: very low, especially in summer – June 2012
- Middle East women have low vitamin D levels, almost independent of dress style – Dec 2012
- Hypovitaminosis D in the Middle East and North Africa - May 2013
- More hajab may have resulted in 6X increase in Multiple Sclerosis in Tehran – May 2013
See Also VitaminDWiki - Air conditioning
- Diabetes rising quickly in areas with recent Air conditioning – June 2011
- Air conditioning probably has decreased vitamin D from a book
- Hypothesis – China Air conditioning disease is the result of less vitamin D – March 2011
- has the following chart - Air conditioning
See also web
- Medical Conference in Dubai Jan 2012 will discuss vitamin D deficiency in UAE 70,000 participants
78 per cent of the UAE population suffer from Vitamin D deficiency
the highest incidence of osteoporosis in the world, due to
limited sun exposure due to local cultural practices, the high outdoor temperatures, conservative clothing, urbanization, darker skin pigmentation, smoking, obesity, diet and prolonged breast feeding without supplements, high caffeine and carbonated consumption, as well as a lack of vitamin D fortification in common foods.
- Private Sun a 2012 Palestinian film about the hard time of getting vitamin D from the sun
Synopsis: Mariam is instructed by her doctor to sunbathe in order to reverse the vitamin D deficiency that is causing her a bone illness.
But with nosy neighbors, an overbearing sister-in-law and Israeli surveillance planes, private moments under the sun are precious and rare.
- Analysis of Influenza Cases and Seasonal Index in Thailand 2008 PDF
High influenze during hot summer (when people use air conditioning to avoide the heat
AND during monsoon (when there is little vitamin D due to clouds)
- Smithsonian Magazine May 2013
Multiple sclerosis up 7X in Tehran,1989 - 2005.
In Iran’s central province of Isfahan Multiple sclerosis up 3X 2005 - 2009.
- Women in Pakistan want light skin so much that they use skin bleaching cream Global Post, May 2013
- Arthritis at 30: price of an unfit lifestyle The National, UAE, Aug 2013
Up to 70 per cent of sufferers in UAE are in their thirties: Arthritis due to obesity, lack of exercise, and low vitamin D
- Relationship between 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations, serum calcium, and parathyroid hormone in apparently healthy Syrian people. April 2014
99.2% of population < 30 ng, 61% < 10 ng, serum level of women not change with season,
Wikipedia Nov 2013
89% in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia less than 30 ng of vitamin D - PDF at bottom of this page
Hajab prevalence: Wikipedia
Short URL for this page = http://is.gd/vitadME