Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) is an autoimmune disease — a disease in which the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues. The attack occurs at the connection between nerve and muscle (the neuromuscular junction) and interferes with the ability of nerve cells to send signals to muscle cells.
These signals help your muscles move. Because Lambert-Eaton syndrome affects the way your nerves and muscles communicate, making it difficult to move your muscles as you normally would.
This condition is often associated with a certain type of cancer called small cell lung cancer. This syndrome may result from your body’s efforts to fight underlying cancer.
In some of the remaining cases, Lambert-Eaton syndrome develops following another autoimmune disease. Sometimes the cause is not known.
These are possible symptoms of Lambert-Eaton syndrome:
Weak muscles – weakness is often relieved temporarily after exercise or exertion
Tingling sensation in the hands or feet
Trouble speaking and swallowing
Bladder and bowel changes
Because the exact cause of Lambert-Eaton syndrome isn’t fully understood, it’s not entirely clear how to prevent the disease. The best way to reduce your risk for lung cancer, often associated with Lambert-Eaton syndrome, is not to smoke. Other steps that may help lower your risk for lung cancer include:
Avoid exposure to tobacco smoke.
Eat more fruits and vegetables.