The former "The Bachelorette" star also said he tested positive for Epstein-Barr and COVID-19 virus.
UPDATE 5/25/21 AT 10:50AM PT
Ryan Sutter revealed he was diagnosed with Lyme disease, alongside testing positive for COVID-19 and Epstein-Barr virus.
On Tuesday's episode of his wife Trista Sutter'spodcast "Better Etc.," the "The Bachelorette" alum shared the news after a year of battling mysterious health issues, saying doctors discovered he had high levels of mold in his body due to his work as a firefighter.
"It seems to be that what happened is that my immune system was weakened through exposures to toxins and especially to mold," the 46-year-old former reality star explained. "There are other people in the fire academy that probably had the same exposures who aren't dealing with these exposures because their genetics are stronger, they're able to get rid of the toxins easier."
Ryan explained that his "long days" on the job caused "exhaustion" and "dehydration," which made it harder for his body to fight off infections.
"I now essentially have Lyme disease," he continued. "It seems like something that I will always have, it's just that now I know, and I will try to build back my immune system to fight it off. And Epstein-Barr -- I showed that virus, and this weakened immune system may have allowed that to come back in. On top of that, COVID, I tested positive for that."
Trista said the journey to finally getting some answers for their family had been "hard."
"It's a really difficult thing to see the person you love most in the world struggling," she added.
Ryan went on to say that although Lyme disease patients often undergo a "pretty heavy dose" of antibiotics, he attempted an alternate route.
"What I'm doing is avoiding, as best I can, gluten, dairy and refined sugars," he explained of his dietary changes. "I've added a ton more fruits and vegetables to my diet, things that are easily digestible. I've gone on specific diets and things to try to alleviate a lot of those things so my internal organs can function more efficiently and begin to fight back some of these viruses and bacteria that they were able to hold back prior to going through this last year."
"I think we're in a good place now -- I think we're moving in the right direction," he added. "I'm confident I'll get back to where I want to be in life."
ORIGINAL STORY 5/24/21 AT 11:46AM PT
Ryan Sutter has shared an update on his battle with a mystery illness.
On Sunday, "The Bachelorette" alum took to Instagram to reflect on the past year and revealed he's received some answers about his mystery illness, from which he experienced "almost paralyzing" fatigue among other symptoms.
"Answers have unfolded in regard to my health and I am certain of my direction moving forward there. (more on that to come...)," Sutter, 46, wrote in the post's lengthy caption.
"Things are indeed looking up...," he added.
Back in December, Sutter opened up about his private health battle, which he said began in August toward the end of a training course with the Denver Fire Department. Sutter said he started feeling "more worn out" and had flu-like symptoms. He noted that he was tested for Covid-19 "multiple times," but his tests never came back positive.
"I completed the academy and believed/hoped I would begin to recover and feel better. It's been five months now and, if anything, I feel worse," Sutter shared at the time. "Though I am functional and continue to work my regular fire schedule, I am experiencing a battery of symptoms which include: fatigue - sometimes almost paralyzing, deep body and muscle aches, fevers, night sweats, full body itching with no rash, headaches, neck and throat swelling, congestion, light headedness, nausea, and just general all around not feeling good."
"I have had several blood tests and a CT scan. I have a high ANA Titer and low WBC but nothing else has proven anything conclusive," he added. "I am not taking any medications, maintain a healthy diet and am doing my best to get rest. Most days I feel about 70%. Somedays I feel a bit better and somedays I can barely get out of bed."
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In his post he shared on Sunday, Sutter -- who won the first season of "The Bachelorette" in 2003 -- admitted that he wondered whether he made the right choice to work as a firefighter again.
"Things are looking up... Maybe I picked a bad time to start my career over?" he said. "Maybe I was too old, too broken, too confident, too selfish, too clueless? Maybe it was too much? Maybe I should've left well enough alone - stayed comfortable and content, each day rolling by on life cruise control? Maybe I made a mistake? Maybe so."
"Or maybe not. Maybe those maybes are meant to shine light on what may be?" he continued. "To illuminate a path of personal growth and to challenge a new mindset? To demonstrate what might be possible and what may be most important?"
Now that "things are indeed looking up" with his health journey, the former football player said he's "beginning to cast off the maybes and find certainty within."
"I am certain of my place in life professionally and personally," wrote Sutter, who shares son Maxwell, 13, and daughter, Blakesley, 12, with wife Trista Sutter.
Sutter concluded his post by proposing the question: "So now I wonder if maybe what may be difficult is necessary to find what may be our greatest potential?"