London-based fitness model and entrepreneur Ninu Galot spoke on ‘Vitiligo’, a long-term, chronic medical condition that results in loss of pigmentation, in white patches, visible on the skin across the body, hair and eyes.
With about 1 % of the world’s population suffering from Vitiligo, approximately 65 million people globally suffer from the skin disorder. Many Indians suffer from Vitiligo too, along with the social stigmas attached to it, making those affected less confident and so less sociable.
Ninu Galot, a Vitiligo patient herself, commented “When I decided to do a fitness competition back in London, it helped to raise awareness about Vitiligo. The support I got from family and friends was admirable. I found a change in everyone around me and found a lot of support while going through my challenges. Many who didn’t know I was suffering with Vitiligo, saw me as someone who had everything; a confident and successful business woman. However within, I wasn’t happy, smiling for people around me. But now I am smiling for ‘Me’, as I’ve set myself free by being open about it. Over a period of time, I began realising that people loved me for who I was. The only person who didn’t love me, was me.”
“Instead of taking the usual path Vitiligo afflicted patients take of being embarrassed and going under cover, Ninu went the other way and decided to come out with it, be honest and actually talk about it extensively and create a support system, both in the UK and in India.
Vitiligo is ‘not contagious’. Globally about 1% of people are affected by Vitiligo, with males and females equally affected and has been described since ancient history.
There is no known cure for Vitiligo. Avoiding excessive sun exposure, using a good sunblock to protect the skin are easy tips to protect oneself. Avoiding scratches, burns and cuts, direct sun exposure and swimming, reduced vitamin C intake are other easy measures.
Exercise on the other hand releases happy endorphins and is highly recommend for people to incorporate as part of their daily lives, along with good nutrition and adequate sleep, to boost immunity. Exercise, including Yoga Asanas help develop new cells, while removing and clearing away dead skin cells, also acting on the endocrine glands, thus regulating the production of hormones.
As a measure to fight Vitiligo, increased water intake helps maintain a healthful PH balance. Increased intake of green and fresh vegetables and fresh fruit, helps in increasing immunity. Reducing milk intake, including red meat, spicy and oily foods are recommended. Avoiding excessive intake of beverages such as tea, coffee and alcohol is also advised.
WHAT is it?
Skin condition where pale white patches appear on the skin. It’s a loss of melanin pigment in the skin.
WHY is it a problem that needs addressing?
HOW is it created/medical story?
WHAT are the stats?
WHY are people hiding it?
HOW does it play out in people’s live?
YOUR background story in general?
Being at my weakest moment I chose to turn things around?
WHAT made you speak up about it NOW?
WHAT exact concepts and methodologies have you used to overcome the pain living with it?
⁃ wow tried so many different things
⁃ Started off young democate cream doctor Higgins
⁃ Doctor suggested seeing homeopathic which spread the vitiligo
⁃ Then a friend found treatment in Milan which I had from October 2004 to October 2017 where I found viltigo getting better and worse
⁃ In between that I saw a Nutrionist had lots of blood tests done to see if i was lacking anything in my body which was causing it
⁃ Personal development seminars with tony Robbins, Richard bandler and Paul mc kenna
⁃ Read lots of books both health and non health related. Louise hay taught me to love myself and gain acceptance by doing affirmations. Deepak chopra quantum healing. Elkhart tolle power of now. So many motivational and inspirational books.
WHAT treatments worked for you and what was a waste of time/money?
⁃ Uv treatment
⁃ Louise hay
⁃ fitness competition made me stronger to speak about this both physically and emotionally. Robert Holden says exercise release happy endorphins highly recommend people to incorporate it into daily life. Change of focus whilst training for competition I found vitiligo to get better
WHERE can people go to get help?
HOW does the future look?
Journey of doing the fitness competition, your challenges and highlights?
⁃ I entered fitness competition as a bit of fun! Little did I know how challenging it would be. I have so much respect for anyone who’s ever entered a fitness competition it takes so much discipline! It’s life changing. I’ve learnt so much about healthy eating, gym training! It’s a lifestyle change! I’m so grateful to Sav at muscleworks for training me. When all the other trainers said I couldn’t do it he had faith in me! He’s been training me 6 days a week for the last 16 weeks. 3 weeks I was ill this was 2 weeks before the competition and I was so close to giving up. One thing I’ve realized over the last 6 months since I’ve signed up for the competition is that when I shifted my focus and stopped thinking about the vitiligo it’s actually getting better. I’m actually now talking to people about the skin condition as opposed to hiding/covering it up.
what makes me successful business woman ?
⁃inspirational, believe in work had play hard, dream big and never give up! When people think I can’t do it I prove them wrong
What do I do?-
property portfolio landlord and property developer
How did I start my business?
What do I do in my spare time?
What challenges me?
What inspires me?
What does ninu stand for?
How do you want to be remembered?
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2014 The Global Indian New Network (TGINN)