Tips for Managing Stress When You Have LEMS

Emily Malcolm, PhD avatar

by Emily Malcolm, PhD |

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Living with a chronic disease like Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) can be very stressful. You may feel like you’ve lost control over your life after being diagnosed. Here are some tips to help reduce stress, and improve your mental and physical health.

Get enough sleep

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you are exhausted. Try to make sure that you get enough sleep — this might mean going to bed earlier, or making time for a nap during the day. Keeping a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and waking up around the same time each day, is often thought to help.

If you are not able to get enough sleep, you may want to speak with your physician about sleep aids they might recommend.

Reduce caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine intake

Caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine can all increase stress and affect sleep. Try to reduce your consumption to improve your sleep, and lower stress and anxiety. You could try switching from coffee to green tea, for example.

Eat healthy foods

It’s hard to take care of yourself when you are dealing with fatigue and the limitations imposed by a chronic disease. Shortcuts are tempting — like eating unhealthy snacks so that you have more time for other things. However, an important part of self-care is making sure that you are eating healthy foods regularly. Speak with a registered dietitian, and make sure that you are getting the nutrition and vitamins you need every day. An anti-inflammatory diet may be beneficial for patients with LEMS.


Regular exercise is an important part of self-care. Even 15 or 30 minutes each day can make a difference to a person’s mental health and physical well-being. Speak to your physiotherapist and find out what exercises and activities would be beneficial for you without aggravating your symptoms.

Try mindfulness and meditation

Techniques like mindfulness and meditation can help reduce stress and improve mental health by helping you focus on what you are feeling and experiencing at a given moment.

Connect with friends and family

It’s easy to feel disconnected and cut off from friends and family when you are dealing with a chronic disease. You may feel like you have little in common now, or they don’t want to hear about what you’re going through — or perhaps they do, and you’re tired of talking about your disease. It’s important to reach out to friends and family regularly, share your thoughts, and maintain crucial support networks. Try to make time for friends and family every week, even if it’s five minutes for coffee or a walk.

Find a support group

Having a support group that understands what you’re going through can help. If you don’t know of a support group in your area, ask your physician or other healthcare professionals if they know of one. There are also online resources, such as the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America, which can help people connect with other patients and families.


Last updated: Nov. 6, 2019


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 health provider 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.