Since Spanx and other versions of shapewear hit the market 10 years ago, they’ve been flying off the shelves. Finally, after years of struggling with the battle of the bulge, both men and women could smooth and slim down their bodies without stepping foot in the gym. Well, that’s not entirely true. Before Spanx, there were corsets and girdles but they were often bulkier and more obvious. Spanx and other compression garments like them are made from thinner, more heavy-duty Lycra and while they may make you look slimmer in your favorite clothes, they have been shown to pose some health risks.
Possible Health Risks of Shapewear
- Nerve Compression
When direct pressure remains on a single nerve or group of nerves for long periods of time, it can cause pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness in your extremities. Over time, this nerve damage can become permanent.
- Digestive Issues
Shapewear squeezes your organs in an unnatural way. This can cause slowed digestion and elimination and may force acid to back up into your throat. Those who are prone to acid reflux disease may develop a condition called erosive esophagitis.
- Skin Problems
If you squeeze into Spanx for long periods of time, you could develop serious skin symptoms, especially if you live in warmer climates. Compression garments are often made from material that cause you to perspire but won’t allow that perspiration to easily evaporate. This can lead to the development of chronic skin rashes and infections.
Men who wear compression underwear are at increased risk for low sperm count.
- Increase the Risk of Blood Clots
Women who wear compression shorts are at increased risk for blood clots as they constrict circulation and force the blood to travel downward to your feet. This can lead to the development of deep venous thrombosis and eventually, pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in your lung).
- Breathing Difficulties
Shapewear interferes with your ability to take a full, complete breath. When you breathe in a shallow, unnatural manner for long periods of time, it can lead to headaches, anxiety attacks, light-headedness, high blood pressure, and a decreased ability to successfully get rid of toxins. Those with asthma and other chronic upper respiratory issues may find shapewear especially restrictive and uncomfortable.
- Circulation Problems
Circulatory problems are another common side effect of wearing compression garments. Symptoms of circulation problems may include changes in skin color, sores that won’t heal, and shiny, white or blue patches of skin. Continued circulatory problems may even lead to erectile dysfunction and peripheral artery disease.
The Safer Way to Wear Spanx
For some, Spanx are a fact of life and many will not even consider giving them up. If this applies to you, at least take these tips into consideration the next time you put them on:
- Wear Shapewear That Fits
If you have to hold your breath, jump up and down, wiggle and shake to get into a piece of shapewear, it’s way too tight. Shapewear should be form-fitting but not take the skills of a professional contortionist to get into.
- Only Wear Spanx on Special Occasions
To reduce your risk of possible health problems caused by Spanx, limit your use of them to special occasions or events. Take Steps to Fight Fat Naturally Shapewear only makes you look slimmer for a short period of time. It’s like using a prescription drug to suppress the symptoms of a disease instead of looking for and healing its root cause. Eventually, you have to take the garment off and the extra pounds will still be there. You don’t have to starve yourself or go on any strange diets to lose weight naturally and get rid of belly fat. You can get a flat belly naturally by following the tips in my previous article. When you avoid “Spanx syndrome” by limiting your use of shapewear and take steps to lose weight in a healthy, gradual way, you’ll feel more confident to show off your body the way it was naturally created!