From the look of things these days, it's not an exaggeration to infer that your tailor is capable of shaping how your health will be.
You may have noticed that except where you insist, your tailor, in a bid to bring out your shape, sews clothes that are, on the average, rather tight and uncomfortable; while you may also need someone else's assistance to put them on or off, as the case may be.
Yet, physicians are warning that wearing tight clothes pose serious health hazards, ranging from indigestion, to nerve damage, acid reflux, yeast infection, low back pain, infertility and, in extreme cases, fainting!
Indeed, the list is endless. Here, we itemise possible health horrors you're exposed to as you wear clothes that literally hem you in.
Fertility expert, Prof. Oladapo Ashiru, says for about one-half of couples with fertility problems, low sperm count is the cause. The main reason for low sperm count among men is the temperature of the testes.
“In order for the testes to produce sufficient quality and quantity of sperm, their temperature must be lower than the core body temperature. And that's why they are located outside of the body,” Ashiru, the Group Medical Director of the Medical Assisted Reproductive Therapy says.
The fertility specialist warns that testes can overheat when a man piles up too many clothing under his trousers, as many youths with swagger do these days.
They wear regular pants, which they top up with boxer shorts, before completing the unholy ensemble with skinny or tight jeans trousers. All these heat up the area around the groin.
“When the testes are too hot, they are not able to produce sufficient sperm, resulting in low sperm count,” the physician says.
Experts say that since most jobs keep you seated for a long stretch at a time, it's like inflicting a double whammy on your testes when you also pack them in tight wraps. When you do this consistently, low sperm count may be your lot, as it takes 10 to 11 weeks for a man to produce sperm.
If you're trying for a child therefore, you may experience a long wait if you don't change your dressing habit.
General Physician, Dr. Oghenekaro Iriogbe, says testicular torsion occurs when the blood vessel (spermatic cord) that provides blood flow to the testicles rotates and becomes twisted. “This health hazard is very possible among men who wear tight-fitting trousers that compress the testes tightly towards the body, making one testicle to get twisted on itself,” Iriogbe says.
He adds that this cuts off the testicle's blood supply and causes sudden, severe pain and swelling. “This is a medical emergency; and, if left untreated, the torsion can cut off circulation and cause the testicle to die,” he warns.
While testicular torsion lasts, you'd experience excruciating one-sided testicular and abdominal pain, with sudden swelling, nausea and vomiting, and accompanying fever.
Breathing and digestive problems
You may have noticed that your tight clothes push into the abdomen, such that when you eat, it becomes really difficult to breathe. When you're unable to fully expand your lungs, experts warn, breathing becomes shallow and oxygen intake decreases. You can faint as a result.
Worse, when your tight cloth puts pressure on your abdomen, a cardiologist, Dr. Rita Enemuo, says, it can lead to acid reflux, causing heartburn.
And as if heartburn is not enough trouble, she says, you may also experience indigestion. “When you put pressure on the abdomen, your food doesn't digest,” she warns.
Impeded blood circulation
Tight clothing can also impede the free-flowing circulation of blood within the body. This can lead to a host of health problems, including blood clotting, hypothermia, and numbness. If your clothes don't allow for free flow of blood in your body, you are either busy restricting or breaking your own blood vessels, experts say.
Consistent poor blood circulation can result in high blood pressure, stroke, varicose veins, peripheral artery disease, heart disease, kidney damage, aneurysms, arteriosclerosis, Raynaud's disease, phlebitis, fatigue, dizziness, memory loss, frequent and unexplained headaches, and swelling in affected body areas.
Urinary tract infection
As a woman, your pubic hair creates moisture down there; but when you engage in wearing tight-fitting or nylon pants, 'body magic,' spandex or skinny jeans trousers, you're creating a favourable environment for bacteria to grow, as the area becomes very warm and moist.
“This makes it a breeding ground for bacteria and, as a result, can cause yeast infections and also urinary tract infections,” Enemuo warns.
When this happens, she says, the vaginal area becomes very itchy, irritating and painful. And you may need to see the doctor. But before then, learn to wear loose-fitting underwear.
A research published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, reveals that prolonged use of skinny jeans could lead to nerve and muscle damage in the legs.
The researchers say nerves serve as the 'wires' of the body that carry information to and from the brain; and because they are fragile, they can be damaged by pressure, stretching, or cutting.
Injury to a nerve can stop the transmission of signals to and from the brain, preventing muscles from working and causing loss of feeling in the area supplied by that nerve.
“Of course, once the pressure is relieved, nerve function will return to normal; but if the pressure continues, chronic pain and permanent nerve damage can occur,” Enemuo warns.
The bottom line
Don't be a slave to fashion. Wear clothes that allow your body to 'breathe.’