Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine is a collaboration between Cleveland Clinic and the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), led by Mark Hyman, MD, Chairman of IFM, founder of The UltraWellness Center, and New York Times best-selling author.
Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine physicians spend time with their patients, listening to their histories, mapping their personal timeline, and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex chronic disease.
Perhaps you have experienced being examined by your doctor, having blood tests done, x-rays or other diagnostic tests taken, only for your doctor to report back that “all your tests are normal”. Yet, both you and your doctor know that you are unwell.
Unfortunately, this experience is all too common. Our physicians at the Center for Functional Medicine aim to reduce this problem by applying a new model that focuses on treating your body as a whole system, that treats the causes not only the symptoms, that sees the body as a whole organism, rather than simply a collection of organs. This emerging model of diagnosis and treatment – called Functional Medicine better matches the need to improve the management and prevention of chronic diseases.
By changing the disease-centered focus of medical practice to this patient-centered approach, our physicians are able to support the healing process by viewing health and illness as part of a cycle in which all components of the human biological system interact dynamically with the environment. This process helps to seek and identify genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors that may shift a person’s health from illness to well-being.
What We Treat
Our physicians are highly skilled in evaluating, assessing and treating chronic problems such as:
- Adrenal Disorders
- Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia
- Autoimmune diseases
- Cancer Prevention
- Chronic Sinusitis
- Detoxification and Healing
- Digestive disorders (IBD, IBS, GERD/Reflux)
- Elevated Cholesterol
- Environmental and Food Allergies
- Fatigue syndromes
- Female Disorders (PMS, Menopause, PCOS)
- Inflammatory disorders
- Interstitial Cystitis
- Mercury and Heavy Metal Toxicity
- Metabolic Syndrome, Pre-Diabetes, Insulin Resistance
- Memory problems
- Migraine Headaches
- Mood and behavior disorders
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Prostate Cancer
- Parkinson’s disease
- Restless Legs Syndrome
- Thyroid Disorders
What is Functional Medicine?
Functional Medicine is the science of creating health, by treating the whole system, not just the symptoms. Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine physicians spend time with their patients, listening to their histories, mapping their personal timeline and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex chronic diseases. Functional Medicine is a patient-centered approach that helps people achieve vibrant health.
What services are provided?
Our Functional Medicine team, which consists of physicians; nurse practitioners; registered dietitian nutritionists; health coaches; nurses and medical assistants; collaborates and reviews the patient’s history, genetics and environmental and life-style factors that influence long-term health and complex chronic diseases. The patient is given a comprehensive plan that is tailored to their individual needs. This process may shift a person’s health from illness to well-being.
What do Functional Medicine providers treat?
Our physicians are trained in functional and nutritional medicine and our nutritionists are registered dietitians with specialized training in functional nutrition. We address and treat a whole range of conditions, such as: autoimmune diseases, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, fatigue, excess weight and slow metabolism, migraines and headaches, digestive disease, anxiety, depression, dementia, and hormonal disorders. We also focus on heavy metal toxicity, environmental pollutants, mold exposure and food/environmental allergies. If you have any chronic symptoms or disease – we can help you.
Is Functional Medicine covered by insurance?
Physician visits are covered by most insurance plans except for Medicaid and Medicaid HMOs. Coverage for visits with the nutritionist are determined by your insurance plan and medical necessity. Additional costs may include specialized lab tests, some of which may be covered by insurance, and supplements. You will talk with a Patient Financial Advocate to review your coverage prior to your appointment.
*Appointments with Dr. Mark Hyman (one of the functional medicine physicians) are not billed through insurance. Dr. Hyman does not accept insurance or Medicare and we do not file insurance paperwork on your behalf. However, we will provide a detailed receipt for services performed.
How do I schedule an appointment?
To schedule an appointment, please call our scheduling office at 216.445.6900 or call toll-free at 844.833.0126. We will schedule you as soon as possible.
What should I expect?
All patients are required to complete a Medical Intake Questionnaire through an online portal called Living Matrix. The link to this questionnaire is received through MyChart 4 weeks prior to your scheduled appointment. The completed questionnaire must then be submitted at least 7 days before your visit, or your appointment will be cancelled. The questionnaire provides us with a detailed map of your story and will help us diagnose the root cause of your health concerns. A new patient consult will last approximately four hours, which consists of a medical consult with the physician, nutrition counseling, education on laboratory testing and health coaching. We are committed to addressing all of your concerns and will provide recommendations as well as construct a personal health plan.
If you are traveling from out of town, please arrange overnight accommodations and be sure to fast prior to your appointment for same-day laboratory testing. You need to bring insurance cards, current medications and vitamins. It’s very important to also bring your medical records if they were not already sent.
What is a Health Coach?
The Center for Functional Medicine Health Coaching supports patients through a personalized mind, body and spirit approach to improving their total well-being
What is Health Coaching?
- Health coaching helps facilitate behavior change in a supportive and encouraging partnership where patients are empowered to reach their highest level of health.
- Health coaching helps patients gain the knowledge, skills, tools and confidence to reach their self-identified health goals.
- Health coaching inspires change by helping patients reconnect with the ways in which their health supports their personal purpose and values.
What is the role of a Health Coach?
- The patient and health coach work in partnership to identify what the personal health and wellness issues are, how they intersect and affect them holistically and help them develop strategies to overcome them.
- The health coach helps create and sustain the mindset needed to make lifestyle changes by heightening personal awareness.
- The health coach provides continuous support, resources and encouragement for the adoption of habits that are conducive to a higher quality of life.
- Patients are held accountable for their commitments, and coaches empower them to identify lessons learned from whatever outcomes occur.
- A health coach doesn't tell patients what to do or what their goals should be, they collaboratively work with patients to determine their desired outcomes and move them forward. A health coach is not a therapist or counselor. Health coaches do not diagnose conditions, modify dietary plans or advise on medications.
Can you describe the health coaching process?
The health coach collaborates with the patient inviting insights and clarity through inquiry and personal discovery. The focus is on the patient’s desired outcomes, challenges and action plans for implementing lifestyle changes. Any changes the patient chooses to integrate in the areas of stress reduction, improved sleep, incorporating movement and mindset strategies are introduced one step at a time so that patients can slowly make changes that support a healthier lifestyle.
The Center for Functional Medicines approach to health coaching is more about asking the right questions while empowering patients to discover their own solutions and determine their own path for creating the health they desire themselves. The underlying belief is that all of us have the answers within and that there are inner blocks that get in the way of achieving our goals. Some of the approaches used in health coaching include intuitive listening, clarifying, empowering questions, brainstorming, creating action plans and accountability.
Why must I see a Nutritionist?
Functional medicine is a food first approach to medicine, meaning that food and nutrition play a central role in creating health. The nutritionist reviews the nutrition timeline with the patient to develop an understanding of previous nutrition plans, a persons’ relationship with food, and nutrient deficiencies. The patient works with the nutritionist to develop a personalized eating plan that addresses nutrient deficiencies, supports a healthy microbiome, reduces inflammation, promotes a healthy body weight and identifies food sensitivities/intolerances and allergies.
Can all the tests be performed at Cleveland Clinic?
Most of the testing can be performed at the Cleveland Clinic location of your appointment. During your medical consultation, your physician will determine which tests are needed and then our nurses will review testing recommendations, instructions (for instance, fasting or non-fasting, etc.) and costs, if applicable.
Your financial resources and how much testing you want to do are taken into account and the plan for testing is reviewed with you. Testing is frequently done to assess nutritional status including amino acids, fatty acids, oxidative stress, vitamin levels, mitochondrial function, food allergies, and heavy metals. Many other tests are available, including genetic testing for a variety of conditions, hormone evaluations, bone health, gastrointestinal health, adrenal function and many others. Some testing can be performed at home with test kits to collect urine, saliva or stool. Our nurse will review the instructions for completing these tests at home.
While the testing gives a more complete picture of your status, effective care can be implemented without it, or testing can be done over time. You should not let this prevent you from seeing one of the doctors.
Do you communicate with other Healthcare Providers?
Yes, we will collaborate with your other healthcare providers to achieve optimal health.
Will I be prescribed nutritional supplements or medications?
Along with diet, nutrients and supplements may be prescribed to accelerate the healing process. We want to help you restore balance and health and will determine next steps and or therapies.
How long is treatment?
This depends on the individual patient’s health – some treatments may take longer than others. Healing is a journey, and we are your guides to support you on your path to wellness.
How frequently do I follow up?
The first follow up typically occurs 6 - 8 weeks after your initial appointment. The first follow up appointment includes a 45 minute appointment with the physician and a 30 minute appointment with the dietitian. You can also choose to schedule a follow up appointment with the health coach. After the first follow up, patients typically return for appointments every 2 - 3 months until we have identified and healed the root cause of the disease. After the first 2 - 3 appointments with the physician, the patients will follow up with one of our Nurse Practitioners.
Are Virtual Appointments available?
Yes, you can follow up with your physician or dietitian through a virtual consult. These visits are not covered by insurance. Follow up physician appointments are 45 minutes and cost $400. A 30 minute follow-up appointment with your dietitian is $49.