If you wear shapewear, you need to know this… 4



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Shapewear, or compression underwear, is great way to smooth out out lumps and bumps discreetly…or so we thought. If you use shapewear regularly underneath your clothing, there could be dangerous health side effects if you are not careful.

Because of the constriction to nerves and blood vessels, doctors are warning that shapewear could lead to damage and swelling in the area you would prefer to cover up.

In a recent report, three doctors weighed in on side effects of shapewear aka Spanx. They agreed that if too tight, it could be damaging unsuspecting women (and men)’s organs. What happens when shapewear is worn too often or is toot tight is it can compress the stomach, intestine and colon, exacerbating acid reflux and heartburn, and could even worsen incontinence issues.

So how does it do this and what can be done to stop health issues if you still want to wear the compression underwear?

Doctors warn that prolonged use of these garments might lead to a condition called meralgia paresthetica, which is pressure on the nerves that run in front of your hips. Orly Avitzur, a neurologist, told L.A. Times, “We all want a shortcut that will be more effortless…But that doesn’t help us in terms of all the advantages of exercise and a really nutritious diet”.

Dr. Karen Erickson, a chiropractor, concurs,”It’s like putting these giant rubber bands around your upper thighs and tightening them when you sit”, she told The Latin Post.

Other issues that can arise are skin irritations, yeast infections, chafe and fungal infections, not to mention irritable bowel syndrome.

Instead of preventing varicose veins and blood clots, tight shapewear can cause it if not used correctly – daily wear is not advised, however wearing it on special occasions or at night time is OK.

Most doctors agree that healthy diet and exercise can help you to iron out any lumps and bumps but if that doesn’t work, you don’t need to throw out your Spanx straight away – you just need to make sure they fit. A good fit means that the spandex is not cutting into anywhere and you don’t struggle to put the piece on.


Tell us below: Do you wear shapewear often? Have you noticed any issues from wearing the compression underwear?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. on Meralgia Paresthetica. I have had this condition for 9 years. It came on suddenly for no apparent reason. It was so severe and caused feeling of being continually thumped on the upper outer left thigh and cramping of the muscles in that area including the lower part of my bottom.
    It took three weeks in hospital going through numerous tests and finally being diagnosed by a Melbourne Specialist, Miss McGowan .

    Apart from being somewhat overweight and under-tall , There was no apparent cause .Tegratol was prescribed which alleviated the pain and cramping and a proceedure to release the nerve in my groin was done, -to no avail.
    . I have lost weight since and do not wear tight underwear but it still remains painful , especially at night, and in the evenings when I am physiically tired. I find the accusation of shape-wear completely wrong in reducing pain and cramping. as compression of the whole area of pain helps, yet the slightest light touch, as in brushing past a corner of a table or lying on a fold in a bed-sheet makes pains like a knife wound.
    Although I have learned to tolerate the pain, after 9 years it remains, further information would be gratefully accepted.

  2. So. I was wearing step ins in the 50s when I was as thin as a greyhound . It was the fashion then. Now I need neck to knee. But I prefer just to breath, so no more.

  3. Iwhen i was expecting my first baby in 1969 my mother insisted that i wear a girdle. although she bought a “maternity style” it did cause me to develope varicose veins.

  4. I have worn shapewear since the 1980’s. It helps ease my lower back pain. I have not noticed any ill effects from wearing my under garments. I’m just sorry I can’t find what I want here in New Zealand — I’m from California. I will make a point to notice if anything is too tight.

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