Spanx And Other Shapewear May Not Be As Helpful As You Think

Spanx and other forms of shapewear are widely popular among women young and old alike. They are temporary “miracle” workers for those that wish to tuck away unwanted bulges and rolls that seem to want to stick out at the most inconvenient times. Well, health experts are now warning women that the constant use of spanx and other shapewear can actually cause more harm than good.

Reports are now stating that spanx and other forms of shapewear could be putting the squeeze on your internal organs. Some may say “well, yea… that’s what they are supposed to do,” and the truth is, once in a while, it’s no big deal for most. Dr. Manny Alvarez with Fox News says that for short-term use, these products are okay. “The problem is with continual use.”

“It’s like wearing a tourniquet,” Dr. Alvarez said. “It cuts off blood flow and if you have a predisposition to blood clots. These could be a problem.”

It’s true, spanx and shapewear are supposed to be tight. They wouldn’t be doing their job right if they weren’t. While speaking to the Huffington Post, Dr. John Kuemmerle stated that the tightness of spanx and other forms of shapewear leaves your stomach, intestine and colon all compressed, “which can worsen acid reflux and heartburn. Restrictive clothing can also provoke erosive esophagitis.”

Dr. Karen Erickson stated that when wearing spanx and other forms of shapewear, your digestive tract is also affected. “The intestines are supposed to contract and move food along, but when they’re compressed over a long period of time, the flow of digestion is stifled.”

“It’s like when people eat a huge meal and then unbuckle their jeans,” Dr. Kuemmerle says. “This damage, though not permanent, can lead to unpleasant symptoms like abdominal discomfort, bloating and gas.”

The possible problems don’t stop there. According to HNGN, wearing spanx and other shapewear could affect how and when you have to use the restroom.

“You’ve got all of this pressure on your bladder from the shapewear pressing down,” Dr. Erickson told the Huffington Post. “If you postpone urinating, it can cause stress incontinence, where you leak, or it can exaggerate stress incontinence with people who already have it.”

Extended use of shapewear can effect the body in nearly every way, including, but not limited to numbness, pain, compression of your inner organs, skin and muscle problems. Is it alright to wear spanx and other forms of shapewear every once in a while? Health officials say yes. “Everyone I know owns shapewear — it’s kind of a miracle,” Dr. Erickson admits. “But I think we want to be mindful to not wear it on a day-in and day-out basis.”

[Image via Wardrobe Oxygen]