"There's not one medication he can take. There’s not surgery he can do," the former Bachelorette said of Ryan’s Lyme disease diagnosis and other illnesses

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Trista and Ryan Sutter
Ryan and Trista Sutter
| Credit: Presley Ann/Getty

Ryan Sutter finally has answers for the mystery illness he's been dealing with for the past year, but with no clear treatment, he's struggling, said wife Trista.

The Bachelorette couple shared in May that after months of tests and doctor's appointments, Ryan, 46, was diagnosed with Lyme disease, which they said was exacerbated by mold toxins, along with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and long-haul COVID-19. But they haven't been able to find a way to treat his illnesses, and speaking on fellow Bachelor Nation members Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti's podcast Almost Famous, Trista explained that Ryan has "his up days and down days."

"I try to look at the positive, and it's definitely a good thing to have answers," Trista, 48, said. "So I'm very thankful that we have answers, because not knowing is so, so, so difficult."

But, she said, "those answers actually come with so many more questions that, even though we found out part of it, and yes, I'm thankful and grateful for that, it's actually difficult. He's not feeling great today. And he has his up days and down days."

For Ryan, Lyme disease "will be a lifetime diagnosis that he'll have to deal with," Trista said. "But it is difficult in that there's not one medication he can take. There's not surgery he can do. So that's hard."

The mom of two said that she's "grateful" that his case is not as severe as other people's.

"He's among one of the lucky ones with Lyme disease in that he hasn't lost the ability to speak, he hasn't lost the ability to walk, he hasn't lost the ability to use his arms," she said. "I feel lucky in the fact that it's in certain parts of his body. We know that it's probably in his ankle, he has a bad knee, it's probably residing in those. But he has brain fog occasionally and the fatigue is unbearable sometimes for him. But I do feel lucky that it's not as severe as some people that we're hearing."

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Still, Trista said, crying, it's been difficult for Ryan to manage the symptoms, and then for her to see him going through that pain.  

"It's been hard, to see him struggle, because he is such a strong human in general. But he doesn't share that with everyone. So it's just hard to see the person you love most in the world feeling like crap," she said.

"It's been hard," she continued. "And not because I want any attention on me, [but] because I want him to be better, I want him to wake up feeling great, I want him to be able to spend time with our family and make memories, and when you don't feel good, it just takes away from life. I'm not doing great."

After sharing Ryan's diagnosis and story, the Sutters have received an outpouring of messages from people dealing with similar health problems. Trista said they hope to raise awareness of Lyme disease and push for more research and a cure.

"We want to be able to spread the word," she said. "Our hope is that we can get involved to help raise funds for research so that more people can find relief from their symptoms."