Varicose veins and gastrointestinal problems: "Shapewear" can harm your health
In the meantime, a trend has also spread in this country that US superstars have been practicing for a long time: so-called “shapewear” is supposed to ensure a leaner look. But doctors warn: The body-shaping underwear can harm your health.
Some clothing can harm your health
It has long been known that clothing can have an impact on the health of the wearer. Experts have pointed out in the past that so-called skinny jeans can damage health and affect sperm quality in men. Austrian experts are now warning of body-shaping underwear. Wearing such clothing can cause varicose veins, among other things.
Laundry should "cheat away" superfluous kilos
In the past it was Empress Sissi, today it is superstars like Eva Longoria or Beyoncé who swear by body-shaping laundry, so-called “shapewear”. This is to emphasize the physical curves and "cheat away" extra pounds.
But when used excessively, these underwear can cause serious health problems, say doctors at the state hospital in Freistadt in Upper Austria.
As part of the medical focus on gastroenterology (diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and the associated organs liver, gallbladder and pancreas), the doctors at the clinic deal extensively with this problem.
Enormous pressure on the internal organs
"Especially in the abdominal area, the body-shaping laundry puts enormous pressure on the internal organs," explained Prim. Dr. Norbert Fritsch, MPH, head of the Department of Internal Medicine at the LKH Freistadt.
"This affects the large and small intestines as well as the stomach, lungs and bladder." Pressure on the digestive organs can lead to heartburn, for example. This can subsequently cause esophagitis, a painful inflammation of the mucous membranes of the stomach and esophagus.
Blood circulation in the legs is reduced
When the shapewear strains the bladder, i.e. due to a disabled urinary bladder filling, there may be a disturbance in the urination.
In addition, according to the doctors, the body shapers can weaken the core muscles in such a way that the abdominal and back muscles recede.
Furthermore, such laundry can have serious effects on the legs. "Panties that are too tight reduce the blood circulation in the legs," says Fritsch. This can cause varicose veins or, in the worst case, even blood clots.
Pay attention to the correct size
The pressure of the shapewear increases especially when sitting. If there is pain or numbness in the legs, the laundry should be left in the closet.
If you still do not want to completely do without such clothing, you should at least make sure that it is the right size. The basic rule is: as soon as the ends cut, it is too small and therefore unsafe for health.
“And finally, if you only cheat yourself into the right shape sometimes, you probably won't have a problem. However, the daily use of cheat laundry should be carefully considered, ”said Fritsch. (ad)