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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How does Integrative Medicine differ from conventional medicine?
A: Integrative Medicine is a healing-oriented medicine that takes into account the whole person -- body, mind, and spirit -- including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship and makes use of both conventional and alternative therapies. 

Q: Where are integrative medicine services at NorthShore offered?
A: Patients are seen at our patient clinic at Park Center, at 2400 Chestnut in Glenview in the The Glen. Cancer patients are also seen at NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center at Evanston and Highland Park Hospitals.

Q: Can Integrative Medicine Medical Director Dr. Mendoza Temple act as my primary care physician?
A: No. She and the other Integrative Medicine physicians will serve primarily in a consultative capacity and are always willing to work closely with your primary care physician or other specialists.

Q: What are the charges for an appointment?
A: The cost for a first time appointment with the physician, which lasts about an hour, is $423.  Follow-up visits, which are approximately 30 minutes, average from $148 to $293.  Other Integrative Medicine services offered have variable charges. For more information and specific rates for these services please call 847.657.3540.

Q: Do you have a price list for your services?
A: Yes, we do have a price list for many of our service offerings. Please note that prices may change. More information about specific rates can be obtained by calling 847.657.3540.

Q: Are Integrative Medicine services covered by insurance?
A: The services provided by our Integrative Medicine program at the Park Center are offered on a fee for service basis. We ask that payment be made at the time of service. Although insurance companies are increasingly reimbursing for our services, these services are still considered elective and therefore may not be covered.  Following payment of service we will provide you with the appropriate documentation along with a receipt of your visit. Many insurance carriers will partially reimburse for our services based upon this receipt.  Additionally some health insurance carriers offer a Flexible Spending Account and integrative services may fall under this plan.  For Medicare patients, the physician consultation is covered for those with Medicare B.  Medicare A alone does not cover the cost of the physician consultation. 

Q: What is a gluten-free diet?
A: A gluten-free diet is when for at least 2 weeks, but ideally 4 weeks, one avoids all foods containing gluten, which typically are contained in the following grains: wheat, spelt, rye, triticale, whole wheat, enriched flour and semolina flour.  After 2-4 weeks of dietary avoidance, gluten is reintroduced in the diet by eating bread or pasta noodles to note one's physical reaction to the protein.  Blood testing may be ordered by your physician prior to the elimination trial to determine if one has celiac sprue, a true allergy to gluten protein. Sometimes, the blood tests are negative, but gluten intolerance may still require elimination of gluten. The gluten elimination diet helps to determine one's gluten sensitivity in the presence of negative celiac blood tests. 

Q: If I give up dairy, what are other sources of calcium?
A: Fish, dark green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, calcium-fortified orange juice, calcium-fortified rice milk/soy milk/almond milk/coconut milk, and calcium-fortified cereals are some examples of calcium rich food. 

Calcium supplements should be prescribed by your primary care physician based on your age and condition of your bone density.  

Q: Can Integrative Medicine help someone who has had part or most of their colon removed?
A: Yes, we can help from a nutritional and stress management standpoint.

Q: When should one seek Integrative Medicine –before or after surgery?
A: Integrative Medicine can be helpful for preoperative preparation for advice on timing of herbs and supplements to take or not take around surgery, as well as for reducing anxiety and pain. Acupuncture, bodywork and counseling therapies may help facilitate a speedier recovery from surgery and diagnostic procedures.  

Q: What supplements can I take for healing a "leaky gut"?
A: This question may be addressed appropriately in individual consultation with a qualified Integrative Medicine physician. Please visit our Integrative Medicine team page to schedule an appointment.

Q: What is “Four Marvels Powder” and where can I get it? 
A: Four Marvels is a traditional Chinese herbal formula also called Si Miao San.  It is used to treat what Chinese medicine defines as "damp heat" which may manifest as pain and swelling in the joints of the lower limbs. It is best to first consult with a Chinese medicine practitioner, who is certified in Chinese herbal medicine, rather than acquire Chinese herbs on your own. Chinese medicine is a sophisticated system of diagnosis and treatment based on understanding imbalances of energy in the body and mind.  Herbal formulas are created and chosen based upon the individual presentation, the patterns of imbalance, not the Western medicine diagnosis. This means that two patients with the same Western medicine diagnosis may NOT be recommended the same herbal formula. It may even be harmful to take a formula not appropriate to your specific Chinese medicine diagnosis.

Q: What should I look for in a Chinese herbal medicine practitioner?
A: We recommend that your Chinese herbal medicine practitioner has certification in Chinese Herbology by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) as indicated by the designations “Diplomate in Oriental Medicine (Dipl.OM)” or “Diplomate in Chinese Herbology (Dipl.CH)”.

Q: What are some reputable websites for herb and supplement information?

View a more complete list on our News & Resources page.

Q: Where can I read more about "Leaky Gut" or "Intestinal Hyperpermeability"?
A: A good website for more information on these topics is Pub Med. You can search for these terms on their site.