Can Spanx Cause Blood Clots? (A Clinician Chimes In)

Spanx, if worn every day, can cause blood clots. Doctors warn that wearing compression garments over extended periods can cause health issues. According to Dr. John Kuemmerle, in addition to causing blood clots, Spanx can “intensify acid reflux and heartburn” and “trigger esophagitis.”

In general, doctors warn that Spanx can induce stiffness in the legs, which can lead to blood clots. The doctor’s advice of using the right size and fabric may help to lessen the risks attached to it. However, it does not guarantee you are safe from blood clots.

If you are worried about having blood clots, this article will tackle how and what causes Spanx to cause blood clots.

Compression Garments: The Doctor Advice

a doctor in her white suite and eye glass

If wearing Spanx every day has been your practice, a doctor’s advice is what you should seek.

The following doctor’s advice is what you should consider following if you wear compression clothing: 

Choosing the Right Size

Wearing loose clothing is one of the first bits of advice that doctors provide to their acid reflux patients. The stretchiness of compression garments will not permanently harm your organs, according to Dr. Wakim-Fleming. However, wearing Spanx that is too tight may compress your digestive tract. Tight shapewear may also be to blame for gastrointestinal discomfort and bloating. When you wear compression garments, the gas produced during digestion and the air that you typically ingest when eating has difficulty exiting as you are limiting the movement of the gastrointestinal tract and holding the gas within.

Spanx Reduces Circulation

woman feeling the pain on her angle area

If your Spanx underwear creates a visible indentation on your skin, they are too tight. Shapewear that is worn every day and is too constrictive might impair circulation. Dr. Erickson mentioned that this could happen with fitted pants and small pantyhose. So, if your ankles and calves appear bloated and you experience tingling or burning sensations while wearing your favorite compression garments, size up when purchasing your next piece of slimming Spanx.

Spanx Causes Varicose Veins

leg with big varicose veins

Wearing constraining Spanx daily might result in significant circulation issues, such as blood clots and varicose veins. If you are aware of having a history of vein problems, you must quit wearing compression stockings and consult with your doctor. However, the possibility of blood clots + varicose veins is more alarming. This risk is especially frightening for persons who are susceptible to circulatory problems. A blood clot arises when blood flow accumulates far from the heart, and the veins struggle to return blood flow to it, which can cause a life-threatening stroke.

Spanx Causes Nerve Damage

Wearing compression garments every day might cause nerve damage. Dr. Orly Avitzur said that Spanx could “compress the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve,” which is positioned below the hip bone. This ailment, which causes discomfort and numbness in the thigh, is known as meralgia paresthetica or “bikini brief syndrome.” The signs of meralgia paresthetica can linger for months. Therapy may include drugs to alleviate pain and surgery in more complex situations.

Spanx Causes Urinary Tract Infections

woman trying hard to close her jeans

Having to wear Spanx can be difficult because you will have to use your strength for it to fit on you. Thus, according to Gail Johnson, a midwife at England’s Royal College of Midwives, detaching Spanx may “hinder” some ladies from using the restroom as needed. Waiting too long to pee may result in a urinary tract infection.

In addition, wearing tight shapewear and constrictive shapewear undergarments made of synthetic fibers may also encourage the growth of UTI-causing germs. Cotton fitness clothing is the safest bet, as the fabric is airy and suppresses yeast infection.

Spanx Causes Shortness of Breath

woman in blue sweatshirt putting her right hand on her chest

Those too-tight, stretchy Spanx may limit your capacity to breathe. “This control undergarments is the 21st-century corset, with the same health dangers,” Bristol Physiotherapy Clinic director Richard Bricknell told the Daily Mail. According to Bricknell, compressed undergarments do not permit the diaphragm to drop entirely, which might cause the user to hyperventilate or have panic attacks. In lesser cases, the “shallow breaths from the chest compression” might make the person feel dizzy. (1)

Spanx: Wearing Tip

woman fixing her waist compressor

Wear compression clothing just for special occasions with restricted hours, not every day. And, when wearing them, take short walks to let your leg muscles move, which helps blood flow in and out of your legs. However, if it is you feel that it is already compromising your health, quit wearing compression undergarments. Most specialists suggest that you adhere to more proven techniques of body-shaping practice.

Choosing the Right Fabric

One of the many pieces of advice doctors provide is to choose a suitable fabric and keep it clean with frequent washing. The most common issue with compression stockings or garments is skin irritation, mainly if you have delicate skin and wear the garment for extended periods. An allergic response to the chemicals used to stretch the clothing might be to blame. “These clothes have the most skin contact of whatever fabric you’re wearing,” Dr. Wakim-Fleming explains. “Because it’s synthetic, it might cause discomfort.”

FAQs

Does wearing knee pads cause blood clots?

It’s possible but unlikely if you’re moving around, releasing pressure. They might be used as tourniquets. Although this does not “create” varicose veins, it does raise the risk of blood clots or deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and superficial thrombophlebitis. (2)

Why do blood clots keep recurring?

The risks of a DVT recurrence or blood clot are around 11% after the first year and approximately 40% after ten years. The causes vary depending on factors such as the reason for your initial DVT, how long ago it occurred, and other conditions such as cancer. If you’ve had DVT, your doctor may prescribe medicine to help prevent it from happening again.

Does wearing girdles cause blood clots?

The corset (and subsequently body shaper) has been connected to several major health issues, particularly deep vein thrombosis. Dr. Morton stated that corsets and body shapers might limit blood flow in the primary vein in the abdomen, potentially leading to DVT and the development of a blood clot that could lead to death. Thus, going through treatment is a must.

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References
(1) diaphragm – https://www.britannica.com/science/diaphragm-anatomy
(2) thrombophlebitis – https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/thrombophlebitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354607

About Maggie Walker