The Truth About Spanx Might Make You Poop Yourself

shapewearPersonally, I’ve never been a Spanx kind of gal. Every time I’ve tried to wear that kind of shapewear, they’ve made me feel like I look worse. The garments squeeze my body into a shapeless tube by compressing all the cool angles and (ew forgive me for this word) curves into a manufactured sausage shape. I like my booty and my waist and I don’t want them wrapped up like a tube of cookie dough. When I do go for shape-wear, I find vintage garments better suit my aesthetic.

Of course I have friends that wear spanx and shape-wear on the regularly because they want to fit inside a too-tight dress or they just feel more comfortable being constricted like that. To some people, Spanx must be little tiny squeeze machines as invented by Temple Grandin. I support my friends and their choices about their bodies just as much as Spanx supports their stomachs and butts, but I want everyone to know a dirty secret about spanx that might make you shit your pants. The secret is: Spanx might make you shit your pants.

The nice people at the Huffington Post spoke to a fleet of three medical professionals. to find out once and for all if Spanx are bad for you or if they just feel like death. The team of Spanx-buster’s are gastroenterologist Dr. John Kuemmerle, dermatologist Dr. Maryann Mikhail and chiropractor Dr. Karen Erickson.

Here are a few physical ailments that can be caused by Spanx:

Spanx may cause numbness or tingling in your legs- Wearing shapewear is “like putting these giant rubber bands around your upper thighs and tightening them when you sit” according to Dr. Erickson. That’s why it can lead to a “condition called meralgia paresthetica, which is when the peripheral nerve in your thigh is compressed.” Symptoms of that are numbness, tingling and pain that all come and go.

Spanx can give you blood clots- BURN EVERY PAIR. The decreased circulation caused by the rubber band effect is ruining everything and might even murder you. (ed. note: I personally have a big fear of blood clots.) 

And varicose veins- This should not be the result of a product that is supposed to make you feel cuter! But as Dr. Erickson explains “When you sit in shapewear, those genetically prone to varicosities can develop varicose veins and lymph congestion, which manifests as swollen ankles.” Ooh ankles fat with fluid, just what the vain people who buy shapewear always wanted.

Spanx are a petri dish- The inside of your spanx is very hospitable for infection- because it is occlusive which means it traps moisture between it and your skin. The occlusive nature predisposes wearers to the hells of infections like yeast infections, bacterial infections and folliculities which manifests as red pus-filled bumps on the skin.

Spanx is destroying your posture- By tricking you into thinking your muscles are strong enough to hold you up, but they’re not. If you need a back-brace, don’t rely on spanx for they are no substitute. Spanx were cosmetically and not therapeutically designed, so you might be mangling up your spine by using your spanx as a medical device.

Spanx squeeze your guts- Your intestines, stomach and colon get compressed, worsening acid reflux and heartburn, and also can provoke “erosive esophagititis” which sounds like something only a poorly maintained sarcophagus from ancient egypt would suffer.

Spanx stifle the flow of digestion-”It’s like when people eat a huge meal and then unbuckle their jeans,” Dr. Kuemmerle says. The damage is not permanent, but it’s uncomfortable with symptoms like bloating and gas. So, if you’re wearing spanx so you can look so dainty in your little outfit, remember that underneath you are a bloated fart monster you created yourself.

Spanx make your breaths shallow- Per Dr Erickson “When you inhale, your diaphragm expands and your abdomen flares out, but shapewear restricts this movement and decreases the excursion in respiration.” Tight as your ass make look in Spanx, you ca’t breathe for shit.

Spanx squeeze your bowels- Here’s how Dr. Kuemmerle puts it: if the wearer “has weakness down below and a tendency towards incontinence, increasing intra-abdominal pressure can certainly provoke episodes of incontinence.” In other words, if you don’t have a sphincter of steal and bowels of iron, you might poop yourself because you wanted to fit into a pretty dress. You might poop yourself. Spanx might make you poop yourself. You may have your poop squeezed out of you by your shapewear.

Your bladder is in trouble too- Even though they put that freaky little pee hole at the crotch of your Spanx, wearers are still willing too put off going to the bathroom while wearing them. No judgments, them torture devices are difficult to get on and off. All the extra pressure on your bladder from the sausage casing and from holding your pee, according to Dr. Erickson “cause stress incontinence” and you’ll fucking pee yourself.

If you’ve experienced any of these issues, all of the doctors recommend taking a break from wearing Shapewear until any of the above have been completely taken care of.

If these ailments haven’t freaked you out enough, remember that if you are going to wear Spanx, exercise some self control and wear them in moderation. Wear them to fancy parties and special occasions, but not to Karate Class or the DMV. It’s just not a good idea to subject your body to these all the time.

Wear whatever you want to wear: Spanx, girdles, corsets, adult sized replicas of American Girl Doll clothes, I don’t give a fuck, but I swear, if you poop yourself in your spanx and I find out, I’m definitely going to giggle a little and threaten to text some mutual friends about it.

via Huffington Post//Image via Bridget Jones Diary (2001)

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    • Sgloss

      Jesus, how tight are these spanx?

      • msk1403

        When people wear the correct size, they really aren’t that tight and definitely don’t squeeze your body into a “shapeless tube.” I think the problem is that people buy them to, like the author mentioned, help them fit into too small clothing (rather than just smoothing out cellulite and rolls under clothes that fit with or without Spanx), so these people buy sizes that are too small for extra compression and all the bad stuff that goes with it.

    • PortaPocketGal

      I don’t wear SPANX, but DO use something else you can wear under your outift to bring you confidence … (I bet you can guess ;)

      • Joanna Rafael

        I can’t! Tell me.

      • PortaPocketGal

        per my name and photo here, Joanna. never know when a comment will be rejected by inclding a web address so I’ll just say it this way PortaPocket (dot) com … designed (& patented) this handy helper after dropping spare tampon on gym floor and getting mad. (whoops!) ..but it’s for WAY more than fem hygiene. btw…actually approached Sara about licensing PortaPocket as it helps in SO many different ways, but so far… no go ;/ Not sure why she’s not pursuing, esp as womens’ clothes have so few FUNCTIONAL pockets (and even if they do, it ruins the line of garment by actually using them)…
        Who the heck knows. everyone has their own agenda…
        No matter… we will soldier on, creating SOLUTIONS that make life easier for gals (and guys) to carry what they need, while minimizing risk.

      • PortaPocketGal

        for those “voting down” my comment, I’m curious where you put your cell phone, ID, credit cards and $ every day, especially while you’re exercising, going out or travelling. If you haven’t had a problem yet, great! (but please know that many others are not so lucky and are happy to have alternative ways to carry things they need.) btw, works on many other places besides thigh…that’s just 1 way it works. no skirt lifting needed. Best wishes to you.

    • Cement Block

      Some spantastic information here

      • Joanna Rafael

        Spank you.

    • Emily Wight

      “If you’re wearing spanx so you can look so dainty in your little outfit, remember that underneath you are a bloated fart monster you created yourself” is possibly the best sentence I have ever read on this site. Seriously just spat soup all over my keyboard.

    • koolchicken

      I had complications from my c section, it’s more than a year out and I’m still in horrific pain. The ONLY thing that has given me any relief is shapewear. I wear Yummie Tummie undies WITH either a Spanx bodysuit or a DKNY one. I’ve been doing this since my MIL told me it helped her six months ago and I haven’t suffered any of these problems. I’m also genetically predisposed to (really bad) varicose veins, yet I only have one tiny one that popped up while I was pregnant. So there you are. Wearing too tight shapewear will probably hurt you, but wearing a properly fitted garment is fine- even for everyday. Also, I never hold it, if I have to go to the bathroom I pull down my big girl panties and go. I don’t hold it like a toddler till I wet myself.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      Laughed so hard at the bloated fart monster bit!

    • J

      What a bunch of rude ignorant narcissists! I wear shape wear because I lost 130 lbs and I cannot afford a tummy tuck. When I run, the skin flaps. Shape wear stops the flap. So, perfect little Prima Donna’s…..there are lots of reasons to wear shape wear.

      • koolchicken

        Thank you! Shapewear exists for many reason, and not all of them have to do with looking good in a dress that’s two sizes too small. I think people regularly confuse shapewear with corsets. They are not meant to suck in all that much. They’re really meant to smooth things out, and not much more. Even Kate Moss could look lumpy in too small shapewear. It just causes weird bulges if it’s too tight.

    • Katherine Handcock

      To be experiencing all of these issues they’re describing above, I think you HAVE to be wearing something much too small. I’ve worn shapewear occasionally, but I’ve always been fitted for it, and it was a) very comfortable b) very easy to get on and off and c) didn’t make a huge difference in my shape; it just sort of smoothed out bumps. I think a lot of women must be buying two or three sizes smaller than they should be.

    • Chuck

      In the the heck is that? I’m very afraid….

    • A. Goodwin

      Interesting because I wear body shape wear every day – including a pair just for working out – and have NEVER experienced any of these issues. Ever. In fact, just went to my yearly physical and passed with flying colors. No health issues whatsoever, and certainly not from shape wear.