“Oh my God! I can’t WAIT to take off these Spanx! They are killing me!”
This is a common compliant heard in women’s bathrooms everywhere. Spanx and all shape wear products are not killing us, but a recent news stories (like this one from the Huffington Post) have detailed health problems that can result from wearing them.
Spanx and other shape wear products are “must haves” for many women (and some men). These “miracle” elastic shapers smooth our flab to create a sleek silhouette underneath clothes. The problem? When you wear shape wear, you are not just compressing your flab, but you are also compressing your organs. Yes — REALLY. Here are just a few common side effects of too much time in shape wear:
Digestion problems. When you eat while wearing your shape wear, your food has a hard time moving through your intestines. Intestines need room to fully contract and relax to move your food along, but shape wear compresses them. Difficulty digesting results in gas, bloating, nausea and heart burn. If you have irritable bowel syndrome, your IBS symptoms can worsen and you could have bowel incontinence. If you have acid reflux, shape wear that stops at the bra line will increase your likelihood to have reflux or will worsen your reflux.
Reduced circulation. Have you seen red rings on your body after you take off your shape wear? Those red rings mean the shape wear was acting as a rubber band in that area. That rubber band compression decreases your circulation and could lead to swollen ankles, varicose veins and/or blood clots. Not good.
Leg pain and numbness. Sitting in shape wear can lead to pain, numbness and tingling in your legs due to your peripheral nerve being squeezed. These symptoms can be off and on, or they can be constant.
Does this mean you can never wear your trusty Spanx? No. But it does mean you should be sure to get the right fit and wear them in moderation. Remember, they are not really meant for daily wear! And besides — you look perfect without them!