Ask any girl about shapewear and she’ll probably tell you it changed her life. But with all the squeezing and compressing comes a whole lot of pain–and health problems. It’s no surprise that stuffing our natural bodies into slimming garments causes a slew of health issues. The Huffington Post spoke to three doctors about how shapewear is actually harming our bodies. Here’s what they had to say:
First, shapewear is compressing our organs, including the stomach, colon and intestine. The tightness worsens acid reflux and heartburn, while also affecting the flow of digestion. Think about how you unbutton your pants after a big meal (come on, everyone does it). Shapewear is just like that pair of jeans pressing down on your stomach, causing that dreaded feeling of bloating.
Other problems that occur from shapewear are shallow breath (short breathing), painful tingling and numbness in your legs and proneness to infection. But the biggest problem that shapewear causes is that it makes the wearer NOT want to go to the bathroom. Shapewear is pressing down on your bladder but at the same time, not allowing you to feel the need to go…because what you’re wearing is just so tight.
So now that we probably scared you out of ever buying Spanx again, here’s how you can prevent shapewear from harming your health. All it takes is choosing the right fit. You want tight, but not cutting off your circulation tight. Dr. Erickson tells HuffPo that a good way to tell if your shapewear fits correctly is if “It’s not cutting in anywhere.” Also, you should not make shapewear part of your daily wardrobe. Just wear it for an evening or special occasion. So maybe we’ll actually keep that New Year’s resolution to hit the gym…