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A therapeutic probe is a method of determining a diagnosis that might be difficult to decide by other means. With a therapeutic probe, a patient's reaction to treatment suggests that the suspected diagnosis was correct. Diagnoses obtained by therapeutic probe are sometimes said to be presumptive.

For example, if someone has pain in their great toe but blood tests are inconclusive, the doctor may have the patient take a medication for gout. If the pain goes away, the patient is presumed to have had gout and the medication is continued to prevent future episodes. When a patient who complains of symptoms suggestive of a bladder infection, is given an antibiotic without preliminary urinalysis and culture, that antibiotic acts as a therapeutic probe. If the bladder symptoms are relieved, the patient is said to have had cystitis caused by a bacterium susceptible to that antibiotic.
 
Similarly, when a patient with obvious Th1/Th17 (see Immune System) inflammatory symptoms, doesn't test strongly for Th1/Th17 inflammation via the D-metabolites tests or doesn't test at all, it’s possible to determine if Inflammation Therapy (IT) will be an effective treatment by doing a therapeutic probe. Treatment is started to see how the patient reacts to:
  • Avoidance of light
  • Vitamin D deprivation
  • Benicar®
  • The addition of Minocycline
When using IT as a therapeutic probe, follow all the instructions in the Physician's Guide to Inflammation Therapy (available upon request to access the CIR Library of Information).
 
Avoidance of light
 
Some patients feel worse when they begin to avoid sun exposure because this reduces their 1,25-D and causes hormonal adjustment symptoms - such as fatigue, dizziness, headache, photosensitivity, irritability, sleep disturbances, brain fog, etc. It's also common to become more sensitive to natural light after avoiding sun exposure because the resulting fluctuations in the level of 1,25-D can exacerbate symptoms even if the level of 1,25-D is relatively low.

Wearing the required sunglasses may relieve symptoms by calming the effect of light on the brain but it can also make it more difficult to tolerate light without the sunglasses. See Light Sensitivity.

Vitamin D deprivation
 
Reducing all sources of ingested Vitamin D may reduce 25-D enough to allow the immune system to begin functioning and killing bacteria, thus provoking an immune system reaction. This will cause an increase in symptoms (perhaps intolerable) and possibly an increase in inflammation to joints and organs not yet protected by Benicar®. See Vitamin D.

 
 
 
Benicar®
 
Benicar® often provokes hormonal adjustment symptoms. Persons without Th1 inflammation would note only a mild reduction in blood pressure if they took Benicar® per IT instructions. A positive response to a therapeutic probe with Benicar® at used with IT would be any reaction, either a reduction in symptoms or an increase in symptoms.
 
The addition of Minocycline
 
Adding Minocycline almost always provokes an immune system reaction in a patient with Th1/Th17 inflammatory disease. This increase in symptoms would then indicate that continued treatment with IT is warranted. When a patient starts IT and experiences a Herxheimer reaction, not only is it confirmation that the problem was/is occult bacteria, but also proof-positive to the patient that they’re on the correct track.
 
 
 
A positive probe result
 
Any of the above reactions indicates a positive result of the therapeutic probe, and that Inflammation Therapy is the correct treatment.