Ryan Sutter is opening up about the disease that took over his life.
“The Bachelorette” alum spoke to People about his struggle with adapting to his Lyme disease diagnosis.
“For so long, I was only thinking about how to survive the day,” said Sutter. “But I feel like my life is coming back. And that’s been really encouraging.”
Sutter first began experiencing symptoms in march 2020. The ex-firefighter had maintained a healthy lifestyle when suddenly he was experiencing extreme fatigue.
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“My body hurt, I had zero energy and even getting up from the couch seemed impossible. And then, it just started spiraling rapidly,” he recalled.
He sought out the medical advice of various professionals who could only rule out cancer, lupus, and other diseases due to the high levels of antinuclear antibodies, which often indicate autoimmune disease.
“We were back at square one,” said his wife Trista Sutter. “It was so frustrating.”
In the meantime, Sutter was having to deal with the consequences of the unknown disease, often sleeping an excess of 16 hours a day.
“It took over my life,” he said. “I’d always felt like I could persevere through anything. But I couldn’t persevere through this. I never got to the point where I thought I’d rather be dead. But I could sympathize with people who would rather kill themselves than live through something.”
They eventually came to a diagnosis in May 2021 with Dr. Jill Carnahan, who identified the Lyme disease as well as a build-up of mold in Sutter’s body likely from his firefighting days which weakened his immune system.
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To combat the disease, Sutter has found salvation in unconventional methods of treatment which include infrared sauna therapy and bee venom therapy.
“The bee venom weakens the bacteria,” Carnahan explained.
“The tide is turning, and I’m feeling better,” said the star. “And I appreciate the little things more now. It’s a perspective change.”
“Ryan is so strong. And I know we can get through anything,” added Trista.