Photo: Fairchild Archive
We admit, we did a double take when saw the recent news headline on Huffington Post, "Spanx and Other Shapewear Are Literally Squeezing Your Organs." Wait, what? Our beloved tummy-flattening underwear could be ... bad for us?
Possibly. Gastroenterologist Dr. John Kuemmerle, dermatologist Dr. Maryann Mikhail, and chiropractor Dr. Karen Erickson have spoken out about what they believe shapewear can do to the body—and it's not always a pretty picture.
According to the doctors, regularly wearing super-tight shapewear can compress and restrict your organs and lead to unpleasant problems like heartburn, acid reflux and stifled digestion (read: bloating and gas). Stuffing yourself into a too-tight support garment can also result in nerve damage that can lead to "tingling, numbness and pain in your legs." Oh, and did we mention that frequent shapewear-wearers are predisposed to yeast and bacterial infections, as well as the skin condition folliculitis?
But before you and your muffin top despair, consider this: No scientific studies that we know of have documented the so-called health risks of shapewear, and the health risks and problems identified by the doctors in HuffPo's article don't appear to be associated with occasional use. "I think we want to be mindful to not wear it on a day-in and day-out basis," said Dr. Karen Erickson, adding, "You really want to pick shapewear that actually fits you."
So, let's review: Wearing a too-small supprt gear, daily, for hours at a time? Probably not a good idea. But busting out some well-fitting, super-strength support garments for your wedding ceremony? Go ahead and say, "I do."