Spanx Squeezes More Than Fat

Are you risking your health by wearing shapewear?


This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz. 

Smoothing muffin tops and jiggly rolls may cost you your health. Doctors are now warning that Spanx and other shapewear not only squeeze in fat, they literally compress your organs.

It’s a concern shared by actress Jennifer Coolidge, 52, who recently told the New York Post:

I hate Spanx because even though they look so good under your clothes, sometimes mid-wedding I’ll be like, “I feel so nauseous.” They’re so tight, who knows what you’re cutting off?

Coolidge’s concern is not unfounded. Doctors told The Huffington Post that the popular skintight shapewear squeezes your stomach, intestine and colon. This can lead to a number of unattractive health issues, including acid reflux, heartburn, abdominal bloating and gas. If you’re prone to bowel or bladder issues, shapewear can actually worsen the condition.

The increased pressure on the bladder and abdomen “can certainly provoke episodes of incontinence,” said gastroenterologist John Kuemmerle of Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond.

In addition to instigating gastrointestinal problems, the skintight garments can restrict breathing and cause light-headedness, as well as chafing and skin rashes, said neurologist Orly Avitzur in a blog post for Consumer Reports. Shapewear also traps moisture, creating an ideal environment for yeast and bacterial infections.

If you want to continue wearing your Spanx, doctors said to save the shapewear for special occasions, not daily wear. It’s also important to select the right style and size.

“You want it to do its job, but you don’t want to get something so small that it’s damaging you,” Karen Erickson, a New York chiropractor, told Huffington Post. Shapewear should not feel like it’s cutting into you. “All it really [should do] is smooth out the rough edges and you can easily get in and out of it without a struggle.”

Stacy Johnson

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