Health + Wellness

What Shapewear Does Inside Your Body


Spanx and other shapewear brands are dominating the underwear business. They make that sexy black dress look even better on your body, but have you ever felt faint or in pain midway through your beautiful evening? This is a common experience for many women wearing these body molding and sculpting undergarments. Below are some ways your favorite shapewear may have you feeling less than your best in the long run.

Organ Compression

If shapewear wasn’t tight, it wouldn’t work. The problem with this is that your stomach, intestines and colon begin to be compressed.

In an interview with Huffington Post,  gastroenterologist Dr. John Kuemmerle shared that restrictive clothing can make acid reflux and heartburn worse, and provoke erosive esophagitis.

Bowel Issues

The pressure on your intestines can cause your food digestion to be stifled.

According to Dr. Kuemmerle, “It’s like when people eat a huge meal and then unbuckle their jeans.”

Wearing the shapewear can cause abdominal discomfort, bloating and gas, but these are not permanent. It’s important to note, those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other bowel disorders should wear shapewear with caution.


Sitting in shapewear for long periods of time can cause meralgia parenthetic. This is caused by nerves in your thighs being compressed. Symptoms of this are tingling, numbness and pain in the legs.

According to chiropractor Dr. Karen Erickson, “It’s like putting these giant rubber bands around your upper thighs and tightening them when you sit.” It decreases the circulation in your legs, and could even lead to blood clots.

Wearing shapewear safely

If you choose to wear shapewear, you should do so in moderation.

“Everyone I know owns shapewear — it’s kind of a miracle,”  Dr. Karen Erickson admits. “But I think we want to be mindful to

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