Thursday, June 17

Everything Bachelorette's Trista and Ryan Sutter Have Said About His Health

A trying ordeal. Ryan Sutter and his wife, Trista Sutter, have been open about the mysterious illness he’s been struggling with since February 2020.

They finally got some answers in May 2021, when the firefighter revealed that he had been diagnosed with Lyme disease as well as Epstein-Barr virus.

“My immune system was weakened through exposures to toxins and especially to mold,” the former reality star said during an episode of Trista’s “Better Etc.” podcast. “I tested positive for Lyme disease. … It seems like something that I will always have. Now I know, and I can build back my immune system to fight it off.”

The couple, who met on the inaugural season of The Bachelorette in 2003 and wed in December of that year, first revealed Ryan’s health troubles in November 2020. “This guy … my rock, my best friend, my hero, my love … is struggling,” Trista wrote via Instagram. “Not every day, and not to the point that he can’t work or cook or exercise or be with family, but enough.”

In December 2020, Ryan admitted that he had been dealing with various ailments since the previous February, when he finished an 18-week firefighter academy with the Denver Fire Department.

“Towards the end of that process I felt more and more worn out and began feeling occasional ‘flu like’ symptoms,” he wrote via Instagram, adding that he didn’t test positive for COVID-19 at that time. “It’s been five months now and, if anything, I feel worse. 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.”

Several blood tests and a CT scan offered no conclusions, the Colorado native continued. “Most days I feel about 70 percent,” he wrote. “Somedays I feel a bit better and somedays I can barely get out of bed.”

He noted also that Trista and the couple’s children, Maxwell Alston and Blakesley Grace, hadn’t been sick, leading him to believe that whatever he had wasn’t contagious.

He ended his post by assuring followers that he would be “fine” and encouraging them to support one another throughout their own health struggles.

“If you must worry, worry about each other,” he said. “Support each other. Be there for each other. The outpouring of support I have received has been humbling and therapeutic. I could not be more grateful.”

Keep scrolling to read everything the couple have said about Ryan’s health battle:

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December 2020

Shortly after Trista went public with her husband’s struggles, Ryan shared his own account of his disease in a series of Instagram posts. “The following few posts are meant to address my personal health and the recent attention it has received,” he began, recounting his symptoms and the various tests he’d undergone. “I appear to be sick for some unknown reason. I do not appear to be alone in this experience. The number of people who share a similar story to mine is incredible. The struggle to find answers in the medical world and support through the insurance industry is frustrating and lacking. One must truly and persistently advocate for himself/herself if they hope to find answers or, at the very least, rule out possibilities.”

A few days later, Trista praised her partner on their 17th wedding anniversary for his “bravery and resilience” amid his ongoing health battles. Just before the new year, Ryan reflected on the power of support in another Instagram post, saying that his medical issues had helped him realize it was “necessary” to let other people in. “For me, health concerns brought on this realization, eventually forcing me to expose what I considered to be weakness,” he wrote. “Once exposed however, weakness became opportunity. I was no longer alone in my struggle. My wife went on a mission, developing a medical strategy and path towards hopeful answers while at the same time leaving daily reminder notes to keep my spirits up.”

Courtesy Ryan Sutter/Instagram

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March 2021

In a caption accompanying a photo of himself relaxing on the couch, the firefighter wrote about the importance of taking breaks. “Whether as an expense for historic abuse or an investment in future adventure, there are days we just need a break,” he wrote via Instagram. “I have a few more of those days lately? Today was one of them. … Still in my PJs at 12:30 when I took this picture and watching a @warrenmillerent documentary, I struggled with allowing the grace to do nothing — to heal and recover. But I need to heal and recover. We all do.”

Courtesy Ryan Sutter/Instagram

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April 2021

“If there is one thing I can say with relative certainty that makes me feel better, it’s riding my bike,” Ryan captioned a black-and-white Instagram snap of himself getting ready to ride. “Usually followed by a nap.” The same month, he shared a photo that showed him receiving treatment in a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber.

Courtesy Ryan Sutter/Instagram

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May 2021

The day before the couple revealed Ryan’s diagnosis, Trista shared an update on his health and thanked his doctors for their help. “For the past year plus, this guy has been tested more than ever before,” she wrote via Instagram. “He certainly loves a challenge, but feeling sick wasn’t one he signed up for, especially when it meant he’d be suffering from paralyzing fatigue, feeling faint during short walks with Sophie [the dog], or waking up soaking wet. … He has a way to go to heal, but we are hopeful that he is on a path of healing and wanted to finally share everything with all of you who have showered us with love and support and the wisdom gained from your own journeys.”

During the May 25 episode of Trista’s podcast, the pair discussed the diagnoses Ryan had finally received. “Epstein-Barr — I showed that virus, and this weakened immune system may have allowed that to come back in,” Ryan said, adding that he changed his diet to avoid gluten, dairy and refined sugar. “On top of that, [coronavirus] … I tested positive for that. The major things now that we’re addressing are Lyme disease and mold toxicity.”

Trista advised her listeners to consult their own doctors for medical advice but expressed her desire to remain a source of support for her husband as he heals. “It’s been hard,” she said. “It’s a really difficult thing to see the person you love most in the world struggling. He’s a big, strong guy and to see him get emotional and feel hopeless — all I could really do is advocate for him, so that’s what I did.”

Courtesy Trista Sutter/Instagram

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