Dr. Oz says his mom has Alzheimer's, feels guilty he overlooked signs

Dr. Mehmet Oz of “The Dr. Oz Show” revealed Monday that his mother Suna has Alzheimer’s, admitting he had overlooked the signs.The popular TV doc wrote on Instagram that he had blamed her increased stubbornness on age. He attributed her recent giveaway of belongings to people she hardly knew as an attempt to “lighten her load” after his father’s passing. But in hindsight Oz acknowledged they were early indicators of Alzheimer’s, a progressive disorder that wastes away brain cells, resulting in the loss of thinking and behavioral skills.

“It was painful to admit that my mother’s health was declining, but doing so allowed us to get her help as soon as possible,” he wrote. “You have the power to speak up and say something if you suspect any of the above symptoms in a loved one. Doing so may be uncomfortable, but it just might help slow down the Alzheimer’s progression in someone you love.”

“I’m feeling guilty because I completely missed the signs until fairly late in the process,” Oz, 59, told People.

“The woman that I love whose bright eyes were there for every experience I’ve ever had as a child — those eyes are starting to dim,” he added. “The light that that made her who she was is starting to go out.”

“I’m going to lose my mom twice,” he said in a clip from Monday’s show, with Maria Shriver.

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UNITED STATES - JUNE 17: Mehmet Oz, host of the Dr. Oz Show, testifies at a Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance Subcommittee hearing in Russell Building titled 'Protecting Consumers from False and Deceptive Advertising of Weight-Loss Products,' June 17, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12: TV Personality Dr. Oz attends z100s Jingle Ball on December 12, 2014 in New York City (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 13: Dr. Mehmet Oz attends the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation's 12th Annual Celebrity Gala at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers on November 13, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 14: Dr. Mahmet Oz attends the 'Fury' New York Premiere at DGA Theater on October 14, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 15: (L-R) Singer TamTam, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Noor Altamimi, and Sarah Altamimi attend Bridges Of Understanding's annual 'Building Bridges' award dinner honoring designer Reem Acra with Steven Kolb on October 15, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Bridges of Understanding Foundation)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 14: Dr. Mamet Oz (L) and Zoe Oz attend the 'Fury' New York Premiere at DGA Theater on October 14, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
THE CHEW - Dr. Mehmet Oz is a guest on 'The Chew,' airing Monday, November 3, 2014. 'The Chew' airs MONDAY - FRIDAY (1-2pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Jeff Neira/ABC via Getty Images) DAPHNE OZ, DR. MEHMET OZ
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 29: Dr. Mehmet Oz., Co-founder, HealthCorps, Ms. Jeanie Buss, Co-Owner and President of the Los Angeles Lakers and NBA Cares Global Ambassador, Dikembe Mutombo at the 2014 Concordia Summit at the Grand Hyatt on September29, 2014 at New York City, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Michael LeBrecht/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 29: Co-founder of HealthCorps, Dr. Mehmet C. Oz speaks onstage at the 2014 Concordia Summit - Day 1 at Grand Hyatt New York on September 29, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Concordia Summit)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 29: Concordia Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board, Nicholas Logothetis (L) and co-founder of HealthCorps, Dr. Mehmet Oz speak backstage the 2014 Concordia Summit - Day 1 at Grand Hyatt New York on September 29, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Concordia Summit)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 29: Dr. Mehmet Oz., Co-founder, HealthCorps, Jeanie Buss, Co-Owner and President of the Los Angeles Lakers and NBA Cares Global Ambassador, Dikembe Mutombo at the 2014 Concordia Summit at the Grand Hyatt on September29, 2014 at New York City, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Michael LeBrecht/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 29: Dr. Mehmet Oz., Co-founder, HealthCorps, and Jeanie Buss, Co-Owner and President of the Los Angeles Lakers at the 2014 Concordia Summit at the Grand Hyatt on September29, 2014 at New York City, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Michael LeBrecht/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 29: Concordia Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board, Nicholas Logothetis (L) and co-founder of HealthCorps, Dr. Mehmet Oz speak backstage the 2014 Concordia Summit - Day 1 at Grand Hyatt New York on September 29, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Concordia Summit)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 22: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) talks with famous Turkish-American doctor Mehmet Oz (L) during the dinner given in his honor by the deceased Turkish-American businessman Ahmet Ertegun's wife Mica Ertegun in New York, United States on September 22, 2014. Photo by Kayhan Ozer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: Dr. Oz aka Mehmet Oz and his wife Lisa Oz attend Day 4 of the 2014 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 28, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/GC Images)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 17: Mehmet Oz, host of the Dr. Oz Show, testifies at a Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance Subcommittee hearing in Russell Building titled 'Protecting Consumers from False and Deceptive Advertising of Weight-Loss Products,' June 17, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
THE CHEW - 6/4/14 - Dr. Oz cooks with daughter Daphne on the delicious talk show, THE CHEW, airing MONDAY - FRIDAY (1-2pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images)
THE CHEW - 6/4/14 - Dr. Oz cooks with daughter Daphne on the delicious talk show, THE CHEW, airing MONDAY - FRIDAY (1-2pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 29: Dr. Oz attends the NYRP 13th annual spring gala at General Grant National Memorial on May 29, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 29: TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz attends the TIME 100 Gala, TIME's 100 most influential people in the world, at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 29, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for TIME)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 29: Dr. Oz, Arnold Germer, Bette Midler and Isaac Mizrahi attend the NYRP 13th annual spring gala at General Grant National Memorial on May 29, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25: Dr. Mehmet Oz poses backstage at the hit musical 'Rocky' on Broadway at The Winter Garden Theater on April 25, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 16: Dr. Mehmet Oz and Lisa Oz attend The Hollywood Reporter 35 Most Powerful People In Media Celebration at The Four Seasons Restaurant on April 16, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 09: (L-R) Dr. Mehmet Oz, Gloria Steinem and Lisa Oz attend HealthCorps's 8th Annual Gala at The Waldorf=Astoria on April 9, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 09: Dr. Mehmet Oz attends HealthCorps's 8th Annual Gala at The Waldorf Astoria on April 9, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 10: Dr. Mehmet Oz attends the Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770 Honors David Heyman at the Order of the Golden Sphinx Gala at the Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center on March 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for The Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 10: Dr. Mehmet Oz attends the Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770 Honors David Heyman at the Order of the Golden Sphinx Gala at the Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center on March 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for The Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 08: Dr. Mehmet Oz speaks at the Clear Channel Media + Entertainment New Yorks FIRST ANNUAL Lifestyle Health & Wellness Expo presented by NY State of Health at Skylight One Hanson in Brooklyn on February 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Clear Channel)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 08: Dr. Mehmet Oz speaks at the Clear Channel Media + Entertainment New Yorks FIRST ANNUAL Lifestyle Health & Wellness Expo presented by NY State of Health at Skylight One Hanson in Brooklyn on February 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Clear Channel)
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On his website, Oz listed “six early symptoms you should never ignore like I did.”

-Challenges in planning

-Difficulty completing tasks

-Confusing time and place - my mom would often ask me to come over for lunch, not realizing I was in the U.S. and it would require an 11-hour flight to get to Turkey.

-Problems with words

-Trouble understanding visuals - my mom requested that we move her sofa to a corner of the room it clearly wouldn’t fit in.

-Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps

If you suspect these signs in a loved one, bring up the possibility of Alzheimer’s in non-accusatory way. Or, you can speak with their physician or other family members.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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