Dr. Mehmet Oz announced some difficult news about his mother's health and explained the missed signs of her battle with Alzheimer's.
The TV host shared a message on Twitter Monday morning about the news and his reaction.
"I recently found out that my mom, Suna, has Alzheimer’s disease. Hearing the official diagnosis was devastating," he wrote in the tweet. "But just as painful for me was the realization that the signs were there all along — I had just been overlooking them."
I recently found out that my mom, Suna, has Alzheimer’s disease. Hearing the official diagnosis was devastating. But just as painful for me was the realization that the signs were there all along — I had just been overlooking them: https://t.co/eOFHrMqwtE pic.twitter.com/uHbMSrm5y0— Dr. Mehmet Oz (@DrOz) September 9, 2019
The official "Doctor Oz" YouTube channel uploaded a video of Oz sharing what he would tell other people about Alzheimer's.
"It's a chameleon of a disease. It's slippery," he said. "It's like a snake in the grass, you can see the grass moving but you can't quite tell what it is. And you don't want to admit it because it's too painful."
He continued, "The idea that you would lose, which is how I feel now, I'm going to lose my mom twice. She's already disappearing. Wisps of her memory are evaporating in front of me."
Oz also wrote an article for his namesake show's site, expanding on his feelings that "the biggest lies are the ones we tell ourselves."
He called Alzheimer's "one of the most feared diseases that currently affects at least 5 million people in the U.S." which is "expected to nearly triple by 2060."
Oz also shared six early symptoms that people should never ignore.
"Challenges in planning, difficulty completing tasks, confusing time and place, problems with words, trouble understanding visuals, misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps," he listed in the article.
He also wrote about a comprehensive testing approach and his plan of action for his own health, but ended with a deeply personal message.
"The biggest lies are the ones we tell ourselves. 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," Oz shared. "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."
For more information about Alzheimer's, visit the Alzheimer's Association website.