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Study: Wearing Spanx can be dangerous

11:15 PM, Jan 22, 2014   |    comments
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(KUSA) - Doctors say Spanx, the shapewear women sometimes use to look better in clothing, can actually impact your organs.

Doctors say it leaves your stomach, intestine and colon compressed. The Huffington Post asked three experts their take on Spanx. This included Gastroenterologist Dr John Kuemmerle, Dermatologist Dr Maryann Mikhail and Chiropractor Dr Karen Erickson.

According to them, Spanx and other shapewear, especially if worn too tight or too often, can cause symptoms ranging from GI issues to skin infections. When worn too tight, this type of shapewear can squeeze your internal organs.

The biggest issue is how they affect your stomach and intestine. Since they can squeeze these organs, they can limit how well they process and move food along. That can mean acid reflux, heartburn and even a condition known as erosive esophagitis.

If someone suffers from irritable bowel syndrome or other bowel issues, those can be worsened by these clothing items.

Restrictive clothing can also cause a temporary numbness or tingling in the legs, a medical condition called meralgia paresthetica. This condition is reversible once the item is removed but can be uncomfortable and concerning while it's going on. And since it can restrict blood flow to the legs, those prone to varicose veins might notice them become larger and more prominent.

The shapewear, if too tight, can also cause ankle swelling. It might also increase someone's risk of developing a blood clot.

This type of shapewear is occlusive - meaning it holds in moisture. This can lead to folliculitis, a skin infection, and possibly yeast problems.

These experts say the best way to avoid these issues is to take a few steps. First off, make sure your shapewear fits. If it's cutting into your body or its a big struggle to remove then it's too tight. The goal is to make sure it smooths out the edges without compressing internal organs.

Avoiding the type of shapewear that goes up to the bra line can help reduce acid reflux symptoms.

Also, wearing it only on special occasions and trying different styles to make sure you get one that fits well and does its job well can make a big difference.

(KUSA Denver)

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