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Dr. Oz Reveals the 'Gut Punch' That's Made Him Feel Guilty

His mom has Alzheimer's, and he missed the signs early on
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2019 11:42 AM CDT
Mehmet Oz poses in the press room with the award for outstanding informative talk show for "The Dr. Oz Show" at the Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on April 29, 2018, in Pasadena,...   (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – Dr. Mehmet Oz will be sharing some personal news on The Dr. Oz Show on Monday, and it's news that has brought him a great deal of guilt. People reports Oz has received what he calls a "gut punch": the revelation that his 81-year-old mother, Suna, has Alzheimer's disease. The 59-year-old TV host is now kicking himself he didn't recognize any of the signs earlier, saying he's "frustrated and mad" he didn't see that the clues in front of him—his mother's struggles to find the right words at times, odd outfit choices—were signs of something deeper than simply advancing age or stress. "Alzheimer's is like a snake in the grass," he tells the magazine. "You don't see it. You only see the effects of it suddenly."

When his mother started acting in an irrational manner, his family realized something was amiss and brought her for tests; she was then diagnosed with Alzheimer's. She's now living with Oz's sister in Turkey. "That's the most painful part of this whole process because I end up losing my mom twice," he says. "As she stops knowing what I'm talking about, as her memories evaporate, she stops being my mom. And then her body will still be there, and obviously I love that body, but it won't be the same as loving my mom. And then years later you actually bury the person." In a double whammy, Oz says he was informed he himself carries one of the genes for Alzheimer's, which he says was "shocking." He plans on being extra vigilant when it comes to preventive measures like keeping his belly fat in check and doing exercises to keep his brain in top form. (Read more Dr. Oz stories.)

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