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Beware of hourglass syndrome: Woman says years of sucking in her stomach to look thinner left her with pockets of SCAR TISSUE on her abdomen

  • Nikki Garza, 27, from Atlanta, Georgia, revealed that she suffers from a condition called ‘hourglass syndrome’ – also known as ‘stomach gripping’
  • According to Nikki, constantly holding in her stomach in an attempt to appear thinner created scarring on her muscles and changed the way her body looks
  • Nikki said it can also negatively impact bladder control 
  • If untreated, hourglass syndrome can cause lower back and neck pain, as well as acid reflux; treatment includes physiotherapy 
  • Nikki, who said she was told to ‘suck it in’ from age eight, added, ‘It just shows how insidious diet culture is, and how it’s really just passed down through family’

A TikToker has claimed that she developed scar tissue on her muscles from sucking in her stomach in an attempt to look skinnier – after her mother and grandmother told her she was too big as a child.

Nikki Garza, 27, from Atlanta, Georgia, revealed that she is suffering from a condition called hourglass syndrome, which she said she developed after spending years trying to make herself appear thinner.

According to Nikki, constantly holding in her stomach from a young age has created scarring on her muscles and has changed the way her body looks.

The influencer, who has over one million followers on TikTok, opened up about it in a recent video, and it quickly went viral, gaining more than six million views since it was posted in March.

A TikToker has claimed that she developed scar tissue on her muscles from sucking in her stomach in an attempt to look skinnier - after her mother told her she was too big as a child

A TikToker has claimed that she developed scar tissue on her muscles from sucking in her stomach in an attempt to look skinnier – after her mother told her she was too big as a child

Nikki Garza, 27, revealed that she is suffering from a condition called hourglass syndrome, which she said she developed after she spent years trying to make herself appear thinner

Nikki Garza, 27, revealed that she is suffering from a condition called hourglass syndrome, which she said she developed after she spent years trying to make herself appear thinner

According to Nikki, from Atlanta, Georgia, constantly holding in her stomach from a young age has created scarring on her muscles and has changed the way her body looks permanently

According to Nikki, from Atlanta, Georgia, constantly holding in her stomach from a young age has created scarring on her muscles and has changed the way her body looks permanently

According to Nikki, from Atlanta, Georgia, constantly holding in her stomach from a young age has created scarring on her muscles and has changed the way her body looks permanently

In the viral clip, Nikki replied to a video which said, ‘Stitch this with a fact so ridiculous you didn’t believe it until you looked it up yourself.’

While showing off her body, she said, ‘This right here, these under boobs, this is called stomach gripping or hourglass syndrome and it’s because when we were younger we sucked in so much, we literally scarred our muscles. This is scar tissue.’

The pointed to areas of flesh hanging above her stomach and below her breasts. 

The social media star explained that the condition can also affect your bladder, making it harder for you to hold in your pee. 

‘Also, if you sucked in a lot and you tinkle a little bit when you cough or when you sneeze and you haven’t given birth, it’s also from sucking in too much,’ she continued. ‘If it isn’t the consequences of my mother and grandmother’s actions.’

‘My grandma told me to suck in when I was eight and I never breathed comfortably again,’ she captioned the video.

The influencer, who has over a million followers, opened up about it in a recent TikTok video, and it quickly went viral - gaining more than six million views since it was posted in March

The influencer, who has over a million followers, opened up about it in a recent TikTok video, and it quickly went viral – gaining more than six million views since it was posted in March

The social media star explained that the condition can also affect your bladder, making it harder for you to hold in your pee

The social media star explained that the condition can also affect your bladder, making it harder for you to hold in your pee

The social media star explained that the condition can also affect your bladder, making it harder for you to hold in your pee

What is hourglass syndrome? 

  • Hourglass syndrome is a disorder in which people suck in their abdomen habitually
  • Sucking in the abdomen pulls the diaphragm and lungs inward
  • Doing this, for an extended period, results in a smaller waist, an up-turned belly button, and a horizontal crease located across or over the belly button
  • This happens because of the abdominal muscle imbalance, leaving the upper muscles in constant constriction 
  • Besides choosing to suck in your stomach to look skinnier, the condition can also form from developmental problems as a child or as a result of an injury
  • If untreated, it can cause lower back and neck pain, as well as acid reflux. Treatment includes physiotherapy
  • Source: MedicineNet.com

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According to MedicineNet.com, hourglass syndrome ‘is a disorder in which people suck in their abdomen habitually.’

‘There is an activation of the upper abdominal muscles because of the pulling of the diaphragm toward the opposite direction that inflates the lungs,’ the site reports.

‘Thus, sucking in the abdomen pulls the diaphragm inward and consequently pulls the lower ribs inward too.’

This can reportedly result in a smaller waist, an upturned belly button, and a horizontal crease across or over the belly button. 

This is due to muscle imbalance, the site explains, which leaves the upper muscles ‘in constant construction.’ 

It also causes the lower back and abdominal muscles to go lax and pulls the abdomen ‘in an upward direction.’

Besides choosing to suck in your stomach to look skinnier, the condition can also form from developmental problems as a child or as a result of an injury. 

If untreated, it can cause lower back and neck pain, as well as acid reflux. Treatment includes physiotherapy.

While speaking to the New York Post about her viral video, Nikki recalled thinking, ‘Wait a minute, that looks really familiar,’ when she first heard about the condition.

‘Of course I did a deep Google dive where I found out it’s called hourglass syndrome or stomach gripping,’ she told the outlet.

‘That really sucks that something that was so minor in my brain as a child — you know, having my mother and my grandmother consistently tell me to “suck in, suck in” all my life — has led to having this on my body now.

Nikki, who said she was told to 'suck it in' by her relatives from age eight, added, 'It just shows how insidious diet culture is, and how it’s really just passed down through family'

Nikki, who said she was told to ‘suck it in’ by her relatives from age eight, added, ‘It just shows how insidious diet culture is, and how it’s really just passed down through family’

The body positive TikTok star hopes that speaking out about her issues will help others feel more comfortable in their skin

The body positive TikTok star hopes that speaking out about her issues will help others feel more comfortable in their skin

The body positive TikTok star hopes that speaking out about her issues will help others feel more comfortable in their skin 

'Don’t let whatever your body is to stop you from doing anything you want to do,' she told her followers. 'All of us are out here having body issues. We all don’t like something about our bodies. But don’t let that hinder you from experiencing or doing what you want'

‘Don’t let whatever your body is to stop you from doing anything you want to do,’ she told her followers. ‘All of us are out here having body issues. We all don’t like something about our bodies. But don’t let that hinder you from experiencing or doing what you want’

‘It’s already telling my young, developing brain, “Your body as is is not acceptable.”

‘It just shows how insidious diet culture is, and how it’s really just passed down through family.’

She added to Buzzfeed, ‘You weren’t pretty if you didn’t suck in your stomach, you weren’t feminine enough if you didn’t suck in your stomach. 

‘All these little things we tell children, and we have no idea how 10, 20 years later it actually manifests, both mentally and physically.’

The body positive TikTok star hopes that speaking out about her issues will help others feel more comfortable in their skin.

‘Don’t let whatever your body is to stop you from doing anything you want to do,’ she said. 

‘Especially growing up as plus size, there were a lot of actual roadblocks, but I also recognize now — in hindsight — that I also put a lot of roadblocks for myself in my own brain. 

‘I set those boundaries because I never saw anyone else being able to do it, so in my own brain I was like, “Oh, I can’t do that because no one else has.” So y’all, just do what you want. 

‘All of us are out here having body issues. We all don’t like something about our bodies. But don’t let that hinder you from experiencing or doing what you want.’

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Source: DailyMail

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