Dubai- the sparkling skyscrapers, glossing cars and remarkable architecture basking in the sun. Not to overlook, lots and lots of sunlight, but with a major deficiency-Vitamin D.
The tropical weather can take a lot of blame for the major deficiency of this vital vitamin, which ensures that calcium is well absorbed by the body. In the most simplest terms, the benefit being, healthier and stronger bones.
Dr. Mehroof. P.Purayil, Pediatrician at Mamzar Clinic states that, “3 out of 10 children have a sub-clinical deficiency and 1 in 50 has a clinical deficiency of Vitamin D.” Sub-clinical deficiency, one of the two types of deficiency, he explains, to be that which requires a blood test for detection. Clinical deficiency, most commonly seen in the children in GCC can be detected on seeing the child.
“Less exposure to sunlight owing to the intense heat is the major reason for the growing tendency of this deficiency in the children here. Children must be exposed to sunlight, the best time being 10am to 3pm for the wavelength of sunlight then has more vitamin D.”
The intense heat, but, also poses a threat for a heat stroke, which must be another vital factor taken into consideration while exposure to sunlight. This makes summer not a suitable time for sunlight exposure to battle the deficiency
“The deficiency is most commonly seen in ladies and children,” he added.
Do ladies who have this deficiency give birth to children with the deficiency as well? In response, Dr.Rajul Shah Matkar, Gynecologist/Obstetrician at Aster Medical Centre explains with an affirmative. “Yes, in most cases if the child picks it up from the mother, it is in high possibility. All expectant mothers are given a calcium and vitamin D supplement.”
She recommends that the deficiency be well detected before the second trimester or better still before getting pregnant, for she states that it is “easier to give a supplement than treat the deficiency during the pregnancy.”
It definitely is not something that can be ignored. The initial symptoms are a deformity in the hand, knee or ankle joints or a small bowing of the knees. In severe cases, a swelling in the ribs can be seen. Children must be given a Vitamin D fortified milk powder as it contains the necessary amounts of the vitamin required by each age group in comparison to fresh milk.
“My daughter was pale and was not putting on weight. She was detected with a Vitamin D deficiency when she was two,” said a concerned mother, Sabrina Hamid. “Her Vitamin D is in normal amounts now, thanks to the timely detection and vitamin supplements.”
Our skin in exposure to sunlight makes Vitamin D. It is quite a paradox that in a country with no deficiency for sunlight, there exists a major deficiency of this Vitamin.