Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) can cause difficulties with many daily activities. Paramedical treatment is an important aspect of care to help improve your quality of life if you have LEMS.
What is paramedical treatment?
Paramedical treatment is that which is provided by professionals outside of the usual medical fields of medicine, dentistry, and nursing. Therapists, counselors, technicians, and assistants are usually part of this group, providing services that help to improve patients’ quality of life.
Patients with LEMS often experience weakness, pain, and fatigue, and occupational therapy can be of help. An occupational therapist works to show you ways of adjusting how you go about daily activities, to ensure you don’t aggravate these symptoms. He or she can also provide guidance on medical devices and adaptive equipment that may help you with self-care and other tasks, ranging from writing and communication aids to shower chairs.
To help with muscle weakness and pain, your doctor may recommend physiotherapy. Physiotherapists can help you with exercises that help to retain your strength without unnecessarily risking injury. They may also use massage therapy to help with these disease symptoms.
Weakness in the muscles of the face and neck can lead to difficulties with speech. A speech pathologist can help you learn how to control your muscles to improve the clarity of your speech and work on breath control to help make your speech louder.
Speech therapy can also help with chewing and swallowing problems, through strengthening activities and modified techniques to make eating easier.
Mental health counseling
Small cell lung cancer is found in around 60% of LEMS patients. The stress of having a rare illness like LEMS combined with a cancer diagnosis can lead to feelings of anxiety, loss, and depression. Mental health professionals can help you learn techniques to cope with these feelings. Therapy sessions with loved ones may also help you both deal with the powerful emotions these illnesses bring.
As LEMS progresses, the muscles involved in breathing may also weaken. A respiratory therapist can provide exercises and equipment, often working with your doctor, to help you breathe more easily.
In some cases, LEMS can be linked to mutations in the HLA gene. Genetic testing can help to identify whether you have an HLA mutation, while a counselor can explain what a positive finding might mean for you and your family.
Last updated: Jan. 25, 2021
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.
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