Q: How would corsets affect anyone suffering from irritable bowel syndrome?  Could they even help to get rid of intestinal gas? --- Brian (10/28/00).

A: Your irritable bowel syndrome needs to be addressed regardless of what you do. It is thought to root in the "abdominal brain", or your autonomous nervous system, which controls the digestive processes, amongst a number of other critical functions. This system is driven indirectly by many inputs from the brain, conscious and subconscious systems. As a result, our emotional states, or stress states, will affect the autonomous system. IBS is just one manifestation of stress-related problems.

Wearing a tight corset can cause additional problems if the peristaltic movements are no longer following a slow rhythm, but "twitch" and cause the digestive flow to constipate and even cause gas buildup. Proper corseting avoids pinching the large intestine or bowel, which is affected by this the most as its content is not semi-liquid as it is in the small intestines. Also, read my articles on "Corseting the Human Body" for more details on this.

Some level of abdominal compression does aid the digestive process, as does walking. If the corset does pinch the bowel, it will worsen the problem. If the bowel is below the narrowed waist, it is not likely to make much difference, unless it is made very tight. 

As I mention, you need to consider your IBS situation first and address whatever causes there may be. I certainly recommend a doctor's visit to determine the cause. Bowel problems should be taken seriously; they are an early indicator of overall system issues.


Return to Main Medical Advice Page

Return to LISA's Main Page