Food Allergy Institute of North Texas
The Food Allergy Institute of North Texas is a state-of-the-art food allergy institute focused on innovative testing, treatment and education. Our clinic is staffed by dedicated nurses and board-certified allergists who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of food allergies.
Food allergies can be complex, which is why we founded the Food Allergy Institute of North Texas as a part of Family Allergy & Asthma Care. We’re board-certified allergists who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of food allergies. Completely avoiding foods you are allergic to can prove to be impossible and places unwanted stress on families at mealtime. Ninety percent of allergies or sensitivities are traced to eggs, milk, peanuts, soy, wheat, tree nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts, pecans, and cashews), fish or shellfish.
We founded the institute to help patients gain peace of mind through innovative testing, immunotherapy, treatment, and education about food allergies. An estimated 40 to 50 million Americans have allergies, and 3 percent of adults and 8 percent of children are allergic to foods or food additives. Eight percent of children under age 6 have adverse reactions to ingested foods; only 2 to 5 percent have confirmed food allergies. Seeing an allergist is important because symptoms aren’t always the result of allergy – testing is a surefire way to know.
Testing For Food Allergies
To ensure accurate diagnosis, we may conduct multiple methods of testing.
ORAL FOOD CHALLENGES
Each oral challenge is customized specifically for you by your board-certified allergist and performed in our food allergy clinic with specially trained nurses and supervised by our providers.
Treatment For Food Allergies
Your board-certified allergist will develop an individualized treatment plan specific to your food allergy. Because food allergens may exist in many ingredients, we’ll also equip you with the best resources and education. You may be a candidate for oral immunotherapy desensitization, which gradually increases tolerance to a food allergen over several months of treatment.
Our dietician can also answer any questions regarding nutrition and show you how to make smart, healthy choices while following your individualized treatment plan. Education and support are part of any plan, and provide a clearer understanding of your allergies. We’ll point you to the best resources and guide your family throughout treatment.
ABOUT ORAL IMMUNOTHERAPY
Oral Immunotherapy or Oral Induction of Tolerance (OIT), is a form of desensitization that involves gradually consuming increasing amounts of the food allergen over several months, resulting in desensitizing allergic individuals to these foods. Our team specializes in this treatment, bringing peace of mind to families and reducing anxiety around everyday activities.
Meet Our Doctors
Fellowship-trained, board-certified allergists. And, we’re also moms.
Mary Hudelson, MD – DABAI, Director
“I founded and remain enthusiastic about the work we do at the Food Allergy Institute of North Texas because of the life-changing impact it has on our patients. I want to be as helpful as I can for each patient’s special circumstance. Sometimes that leads to less medicine and making smarter choices about treatment; but, it’s always about peace of mind no matter the patient’s place in life.”
Marie Fitzgerald, MD – DABAI
“One of my children has a food allergy and so I understand these challenges firsthand. I live with it day-to-day and I didn’t just learn about it in a textbook. It fundamentally changes so much for families including sleepovers, parties, and school. We want to partner with our patients so they not only receive treatment like desensitization and immunotherapy, but also education and guidance on lifestyle changes.”
NANA MIREKU, md – DABAI, PEDIATRIC ALLERGIST
I am passionate about helping people be set free from the limitations caused by allergies and asthma. Having suffered with allergies since childhood I have experienced firsthand the positive difference allergy treatment can bring.
My favorite thing is to take care of a child who has been socially impacted by their food allergies. I love it when they can experience the freedom to attend birthday parties, eat lunch with others at school or go to outings with friends. Empathizing with a parent whose child has food allergies is especially meaningful to me as I am also the parent of 2 children with food allergies. It can feel scary and overwhelming for parents to navigate the complexities of having a child with a life-threatening food allergy. My goal is to walk this journey alongside parents and their food allergic child to help them alleviate their fears and meet their goals. Educating and partnering in this way is truly my passion.
I love people and I love to learn. While I was training to become a pediatrician, I did a rotation in the allergy/immunology clinic at Children’s Hospital of Michigan and fell in love with the everchanging science of allergy. I completed an allergy fellowship at Detroit Medical Center in 2008 and started doing what I love.
I have lived in north Texas for the last 12 years practicing pediatric allergy, asthma & food allergy.
Our Friendly Physician assistants
Compassionately caring for your family.
Angelica Ybanez-Bennett, PA-C
“For our oral immunotherapy patients, their “graduation” dose comes with exciting changes in their lives because they are desensitized to their allergy. For kids, we put on a big celebration complete with balloons and a certificate. All of their family is invited and they get to eat special food they’ve really wanted to have for so long.”
Emily Williams, PA-C
“The fear and danger associated with a food allergy is real. It is not only a life-threatening physical issue, but an overwhelmingly emotional one, too. Finding relief is freeing for the entire family because they can have confidence and peace of mind, worrying less in uncontrolled situations.”
Courtney Mccune, Board Certified, PA-C
I have had lifelong problems with allergies and know first-hand the affect allergies can have on people’s lives, from young children to adults. Treating allergic diseases such as asthma, allergies, urticaria, and eczema the past several years has been incredibly rewarding. I am passionate about patient education, health and wellness and enjoy giving practical tips that can help enhance patient’s health.
I love the outdoors and in my free time, I enjoy spending time at the lake with family, exercising, and playing sand volleyball. I want my patients to be able to enjoy the outdoors as well. My goal is to provide them the tools they need to achieve more symptom free days living fulfilled, active lives. Building a relationship with my patients is one of my main priorities and I am blessed to work with the FAAC team to bring quality care to our patients.
It is a privilege to improve the lives of our patients struggling with asthma and allergic disease and help them live their best life!