Doctors caution against the dangers of shape wear - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Doctors caution against the dangers of shape wear

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Source: WBRC video Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Some women swear by it and many won't even leave home without it. Shape wear is a fast way to look slim on the outside but some doctors say it can damage your insides.

"You do have people who have Spanx as part of their daily lives," explained Katie Meyers.

She sells formal gowns at Renaissance Consignment & Marketplace and says women use Spanx and other kinds of shape wear to get a flawless look.

"So it gives you just kind of nice smooth curves and smooth edges where it doesn't give you all the lumps you don't want to see," Myers added.

There are dozens of options to achieve the slimming effect. But some doctors say the tight squeeze can be harmful to the body. Physician Rob Spiegel with Signature Health in Birmingham says if the shape wear is too tight, pressure on the abdomen can lead to a number of digestive issues.

"Abdominal pain. Diarrhea. Indigestion. Heart burn and the reflux that some people get at night that comes up into their throat," he said.

Spiegel says in more severe cases, the firming garments can interfere with blood flow.

"It can slow the blood flow back from the legs and from the rest of the body and that's one thing we worry about, blood clots," he said.

While it may sound extreme, Spiegel himself has treated a patient for blood clots he believes were partly caused by shape wear. He saw the patient after she returned from an overseas flight.

"She noticed that one of her legs that was very swollen, she was short of breath. She came to the emergency room. Her oxygen levels were low," he said.

Spiegel notes the long flight time in a seated position also played a role in her blood clot.

But the doctor also says avoiding trouble with tight-fitting shape wear is quite simple. His advice is to not wear them if you're going to be seated for a long period of time.

"If you're feeling the tingling and numbing into your extremities, then it's way too tight," Spiegel added.

Under garment specialists at The Fitting Touch at The Summit say the key to using shape wear safely and effectively is to purchase garments that are within your size range and use one that best compliments your body type.

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