LEMS and Exercise

LEMS and Exercise
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Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) is a rare autoimmune disease characterized by the immune system mistakenly attacking the nerve cells that control muscles. The most common symptom of LEMS is muscle weakness that gets worse over time.

Health benefits of exercise

Regular exercise can help people lose weight and stay healthy. Exercising improves mood and mental health, as well as improving sleep and boosting energy levels.

Establishing and maintaining an exercise routine

If you have LEMS, you may want to discuss your exercise goals with a physiotherapist who can help you design an exercise routine that is safe and will help you reach your goals.

Many LEMS patients experience painful muscle cramps in addition to weakness in the legs and ankles. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to discuss with your doctor what exercises are safest for you; anything that might cause you to stumble and fall would not be a good exercise. You might choose swimming instead of running, for example. If you are introducing new exercises or a more strenuous exercise routine than before, you should discuss your exercise plan with your doctor to ensure you are exercising safely.

As a LEMS patient, you may feel more tired than normal after exercising and become exhausted more quickly. It’s important not to “push past” fatigue when exercising, as you are more likely to injure yourself if you are tired. Gentle exercise for longer may be more beneficial than rapid, high-intensity exercise.

After exercise, it may take you longer to “recharge.” Pace yourself, and discuss with your doctor and physiotherapist your exercise routine, and any symptoms you notice when working out.

LEMS is a progressive disease; you may find that some exercises, which used to be easy for you become very difficult over time. You should discuss this with your doctor, as this is a symptom of disease progression.

 

Last updated: April 20, 2020

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Lambert-Eaton News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Emily holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Iowa and is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She graduated with a Masters in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and holds a Bachelors in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Central Arkansas. Emily is passionate about science communication, and, in her free time, writes and illustrates children’s stories.
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Özge has a MSc. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Leicester and a PhD in Developmental Biology from Queen Mary University of London. She worked as a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Leicester for six years in the field of Behavioural Neurology before moving into science communication. She worked as the Research Communication Officer at a London based charity for almost two years.
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Emily holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Iowa and is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She graduated with a Masters in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and holds a Bachelors in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Central Arkansas. Emily is passionate about science communication, and, in her free time, writes and illustrates children’s stories.
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