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The Dangers of Shapewear: The '21st Century Corset'

Updated: Friday, May 16 2014, 12:02 AM EDT

Celebrities love them, some hate them, and even supermodels admit to wearing them: shapewear. The tight underclothing is worn by women around the world to achieve a more svelte figure.

But gastroenterologist Dr. Rajkamal Jit says extra tight shapewear is putting too much pressure on women's bodies.

"They compress the stomach and so the stomach acid goes up into the food pipe, the esophagus, much more than usual, and that causes acid reflux, more damage to the lining of the esophagus," Dr. Jit said, noting that he's seen an increase in the number of female patients with health problems from shapewear. He says many are unaware that this "21st century corset" is to blame.

Some other serious side effects doctors are seeing from shapewear are heartburn, bloating, abdominal pain, incontinence, constipation, poor circulation, blood clots and even shallow breath.

"The best thing is to make sure that it fits, so that it is a good fitting shapewear and that it's not too tight or too constrictive because that is when the problems happen," Dr. Jit cautions.

Spanx Incorporated, a popular brand of shapewear, was contacted several times over phone and email for a comment, but did not respond.

The Dangers of Shapewear: The '21st Century Corset'

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Washington Times