Top 5 Health Concerns Related to Wearing Spanx


While many women like wearing Spanx to better fit into their favorite clothes or to get a quick self-image boost, not many of them enjoy the tight, restrictive feeling that the shapewear tends to cause. There has been an ongoing discussion in the media about various health risks related to with wearing Spanx, and to clear any confusion around the issue, Huffington Post has interviewed three experts about the concerns associated with shapewear.

1. Organ Compression

Dr. John F. Kuemmerle, gastroenterologist at Virginia Commonwealth University, said a lot of the organs get compressed by shapewear, including colon, intestine and stomach. This can result in heartburn, acid reflux and irritated, swollen esophagitis. Abdominal discomfort and gas can also occur, caused by suppressed digestion flow.

2. Shallow Breath

By restricting the movement of your diaphragm and abdomen, shapewear can cause breathing problems as well, said Dr. Karen Erickson, a chiropractor with Erickson Healing Arts in New York.

3. Bowel and Bladder Issues

According to Dr. Kuemmerle, people with irritable bowel syndrome or other bowel problems can actually experience incontinence when wearing Spanx. Dr. Erickson added that people are also likely to avoid going to the bathroom when they have shapewear on, since it can be difficult to take it off and put it back on. For this reason, there’s also an increasing pressure on their bladders, which can be followed by stress incontinence.

4. Risk of Blood Clots

Besides all the organs it compresses, shapewear can also put too much pressure on the nerves in your thighs. This can cause numbness in your legs, and pain that is usually temporary, but could also become constant, Dr. Erickson said. By cutting your blood circulation, shapewear also has the potential to cause blood clots. People with genetic varicose vein issues are likely to aggravate the problem when they sit in Spanx. Ankle swelling can also occur.

5. Possibility of Infections

Shapewear tends to trap moisture between the body and the material, which can be a conducive environment for various bacterial infections, said Dr. Maryann Mikhail, a specialist with Spring Street Dermatology in New York. When bacteria get trapped between one’s hair follicles, this often leads to a folliculitis infection. If you get this problem once, it’s not much of a scare, but if the infection is recurring because of constant use of Spanx, it can become more and more difficult to treat over time.

The specialists conclude that many of these and other health concerns related to using shapewear can be avoided if you wear it sparingly. Putting Spanx on every day might result in serious health issues, though. Picking shapewear that fits you properly is also key to avoiding any problems. Many women tend to buy Spanx that is a couple of sizes too small, thinking that it will do a better job, while in reality it only harms their bodies.

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A science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition, Antonia has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well. (