When you’re looking for a smooth, contoured, and firm silhouette in a form-fitting outfit, shapewear is often your best friend. Yes, these compression-like undergarments are slimming. But have you ever wondered whether their fit might be affecting your health, causing acid reflux symptoms the same way tight clothes do?
Well, there’s good news, and there’s bad news. “Shapewear can have some short-term effects on health, but likely will not cause any long-term damage,” said Dr. Anthony Kouri, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Toledo Medical Center. “Though none of these problems are long-term issues, they are important reminders to give yourself a break from shapewear.” Here's what shapewear could do to your body and how to wear it the right way to ease any heartburn symptoms you might encounter.
Shapewear and Acid Reflux
Tight shapewear has the potential to cause acid reflux, Kouri said. “It places pressure on the stomach and forces gastric acid into the esophagus.” According to Kouri, shapewear can also put pressure on the intestines, causing difficulty with contracting and releasing these muscles, which may lead to bloating, gas, or an upset stomach. Lastly, shapewear can get sweaty when worn for a long time, and the synthetic fabrics the shapewear is made out of can trap that moisture. This can not only lead to skin irritation, but it can also create an environment ripe for yeast and bacterial infections.
Relief From Acid Reflux
You may find relief the second you take your shapewear off and prevent most of these issues by wearing these garments only occasionally. But if you notice your acid reflux symptoms popping up occasionally, regardless of your clothing, it may be a good idea to keep a bottle of TUMS handy. TUMS provide fast relief for your toughest heartburn, going to work in seconds to neutralize acid on contact — so quickly, you’ll forget you had heartburn in the first place.
So what’s the bottom line? To avoid any health issues, Kouri says it’s best to take breaks from shapewear and not use it everyday. Moderation is definitely key with these modern day corsets, and be sure to wear your correct size, as tighter isn’t better when it comes to your health.