It's time to take action. Learn about type 2 inflammation so you can have better conversations with your doctor about the root cause of your disease.
What is Type 2 Inflammation?
Everyone has something called a type 2 immune response. When your body senses certain kinds of infections, it sends out specific type 2 immune cells to fight the battle against the intruders by creating inflammation.
But for some people, the immune cells go to battle even when there’s no infection, so they end up damaging the body itself. This is an overactive immune response called type 2 inflammation.
Discovering New Knowledge
While scientists discovered type 2 inflammation in the 1980s, we’re learning more and more about it every day. Scientists have discovered the role it plays in a number of diseases and are exploring if it may contribute to even more.
Who Experiences Type 2 Inflammation?
Type 2 inflammation contributes to a range of different diseases. Many of them are defined as either “atopic,” “allergic” or “eosinophilic.” If you live with one type 2 inflammatory disease, you’re more likely to have another, driven by the same inflammation.
• Atopic Dermatitis (AD)
• Nasal Polyps or Chronic Rhinosinusitis with Nasal Polyposis (CRSwNP)
• Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)
• Prurigo Nodularis (PN)
• Certain Food Allergies
An Issue for the Long-Term
Type 2 inflammation is chronic, which means it always exists in the body even when symptoms aren’t felt or seen. Type 2 inflammatory diseases are often first diagnosed in childhood but can develop at any age, impacting people for years, or even their entire lives.
The Shared Challenges
People with different type 2 inflammatory diseases experience similar challenges. These experiences can make it hard to do even simple daily activities.
If you experience these burdens, it’s time for a change. Start by understanding the root cause of your disease.
Because symptoms come and go unpredictably (and disrupt sleep), type 2 inflammatory diseases often cause people to miss work or school days or cause issues with productivity.
“Taking a crazy amount of sick days really affected my chances of employment. I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to get a permanent job.”
- Rhiannon, asthma, Australia
Many people with type 2 inflammatory diseases have a hard time getting diagnosed or finding the right specialist. This can make the road to treatment even longer and more difficult.
“I had forgotten what breathing was like without pain. It had become such a part of my normal.”
- Rhiannon, asthma, Australia
The challenges aren’t always physical. Many people with type 2 inflammatory diseases experience anxiety, depression and an overall lack of confidence.
“It got to the point where even when my asthma was okay, I would start to worry about what was going to happen.”
- Jeff, asthma & CRSwNP, Canada
Feelings of embarrassment and misunderstanding can make people with type 2 inflammatory diseases feel alone and isolated.
“For a long time, I was a quiet, introverted person. I would come home and just hide in my room.”
- Camille, AD, US
Many daily activities are made harder or even impossible by uncontrolled symptoms of type 2 inflammatory diseases, including sports, chores, hobbies and social activities.
“If we didn’t have all this, we would go out for dinner. It’s just a meal, but to my kids, it’s something they’ve never gotten to experience.”
- Kara, EoE caregiver, US
Sometimes symptom flares aren’t just flares—they can be scary life-threatening incidences. Hospitalization is a real fear and can happen unpredictably.
“For two and a half years, every month or so, I would get hospitalized. It’s a jarring experience.”
- Amit, asthma, Israel
A good night’s sleep is crucial, but with type 2 inflammatory diseases, it’s not always possible. Uncontrolled symptoms can make it hard for people to fall asleep or stay asleep.
“I don’t get a full night’s sleep. I wake up once an hour every hour. I’m not very rested at all.”
- Ernie, CRSwNP, US
Certain treatments prescribed for type 2 inflammatory diseases can help relieve symptoms, like steroids and immunosuppressants. But sometimes, these options can have negative long-term effects.
From symptom flare-ups to life-threatening attacks, type 2 inflammatory diseases can be very unpredictable.
“I can’t make a plan and know for sure I’m going to be able to see it through.”
- Amelia, CRSwNP, US
SPOTTING TYPE 2 INFLAMMATION
When multiple people in a family have the same—or different—type 2 inflammatory diseases, it could be a sign of type 2 inflammation.
Type 2 inflammation could explain why someone has AD, their mother has asthma and their aunt has nasal polyps.
Many people with one type 2 inflammatory disease have another disease because of the same underlying inflammation, which can be incredibly difficult. Often, the more severe disease is diagnosed first.
Around 31% of adults with moderate-to-severe AD also have asthma, and around 17% of adults with moderate-to-severe asthma also have nasal polyps.
Factors like allergens, exercise, stress, weather and pollutants can lead to type 2 inflammation, causing symptoms to get worse.
“I have declined going on vacations when I felt like the humidity might affect my breathing.”
- Tammy, asthma, US
Signs like family history and environmental triggers are the best ways to spot type 2 inflammation, but for certain diseases, there are also scientific tests.
If you have asthma, ask your doctor about breath or blood tests to identify the type of inflammation underlying your disease.