Body

Doctors Say Spanx Are Spanking the Heck Out of Your Health

Turns out shape wear compresses a whole lot more than just your muffin top

How badly do you want to battle that bulge?enlargeHow badly do you want to battle that bulge?
Yesterday we cautioned against the frightening ramifications of the Corset diet and now, at the risk of ruining your day, we're here to shed a startling light on the less-than-wonderful world of shape wear.

Spanx, Yummie Tummie, Miraclesuit and (ok, okay I'll include her) Jill Zarin's Skweez Couture may run at different price points, come in different styles and appeal to different consumers but they all have one thing in common -- they all jeopardize sundry body parts. According to several doctors who spoke to the Huffington Post anyway.

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Gastroenterologist, Dr. John Kuemmerle says that the constrictive nature of shape wear compresses your stomach, intestines and colon, which can "worsen acid reflux and heartburn as well as provoke erosive esophagitis."

And, try swallowing this nugget of insight into the operations of compressed intestines. "The flow of digestion is stifled," says Dr. Karen Erickson who adds that side effects include bloating, gas and, my words not hers, tummy pain.

Oh, and there's also the matter of not being able to breathe well whilst being spanxed. Seems shape wear restricts the expansion of your diaphragm and prevents your abdomen from flaring, causing your breathing to become shallow which, no surprise here, leads to a lack of oxygen.

Still not convinced? Let's throw this cautionary caveat into the mix. Dr. Kuemmerle warns that anyone with a compromised bowel should think long and hard before squeezing themselves into Skweezes. In someone who has weakness down below and a tendency towards incontinence," he explains, "increasing intra-abdominal pressure can certainly provoke episodes of incontinence."

Not that anyone who's gone through the trouble of putting on shape wear is in any great hurry to take it off for something as trifling as having to go to the loo. But, skip to the loo you must. As Dr. Erickson notes, "You've got all of this pressure on your bladder from the shape wear pressing down," she says. "If you postpone urinating, it can cause stress incontinence, where you leak, or it can exaggerate stress incontinence with people who already have it."

Super.

There are other compelling reasons to just go with the flow and embrace your big old badonkadonk and you can read them here. But, in case you're not inclined to click, we'll leave you with these magnetic key words: bacterial infection, varicosities, blood clots, folliculitis, nerve compression and numbness.

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