Bachelorette alum, Ryan Sutter, went public with an unknown illness back in November 2020. After months of uncertainty, he announced this week that he has been diagnosed with Lyme disease.
As is the path of many Lyme sufferers, Ryan sought help from a number of physicians for puzzling symptoms. It is believed that his struggles were exacerbated by his profession as a firefighter, where he is not only susceptible to weakened immunity by way of exhaustion and dehydration, but also, “products of combustion.” Ryan also notes that he is genetically predisposed to the adverse effects of toxin exposure, which he comes in contact with on the job – one of those being mold. Once his immunity was weakened, one of the infections that his body had likely been keeping suppressed was that of Lyme.
His symptoms were baffling.
Ryan felt generally unwell. When first reported, his illness was not disrupting his work or family life – but it was taking a toll. On her Instagram, his wife, Trista, said, “We've been struggling for months. Struggling to get answers.” She said at one point, they sought out a doctor, who agreed to scan for possible lymphoma. They had been in the dark for so long with the mystery illness, they almost wished for a definitive cancer diagnosis, so they knew what they are facing. Alas, cancer was not the diagnosis. Ryan announced in December that one of the illnesses he was being tested for was Lyme disease, as well as autoimmune and immune disorders. In addition to severe headaches, fever, night sweats, muscle aches, and joint pain, he experienced, “almost paralyzing fatigue.” These are among some of the more prominent symptoms of chronic Lyme sufferers. Ryan also added, “It seems like that's something that I will always have. It's just that, now, I know and I can start to try to build back my immune system so I can fight it off.” Chronic Lyme disease cannot be cured, but Lyme-specialized doctors and other specialists can help sufferers control symptoms to combat active illness. These become lifelong efforts, and as with many chronic conditions, can really take an emotional toll on those, who are afflicted.
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