After what seemed like an endless year of doctor appointments, scans, blood tests and anxiety over the possibility of having undetected cancer, Ryan said his immune system was weakened from exposure to mold toxins and so his body has been unable to fight Lyme disease.
The Colorado-based firefighter also reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 during the pandemic in 2020 as well as Epstein-Barr virus, which causes mononucleosis.
Instead of taking a "pretty heavy dose" of multiple antibiotics for several weeks, Ryan told his listeners that he plans to treat his illness by making dietary changes.
"What I'm doing is avoiding, as best I can, gluten, dairy and refined sugars," Ryan shared, People reported.
"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."
Ryan and Trista -- who fell in love and got engaged on Season 1 of The Bachelorette -- expressed relief over finally having answers, especially considering they worried he may have lymphoma, a cancer centered in the lymphatic system.
"At that point you were still having the night sweats, you were fatigued, your white blood cell count was low. So those were all matching up with lymphoma," Trista recalled on her podcast.
"So I advocated and I called the doctor you had seen when you got that initial blood work in June , and said, 'How can we get him in to an oncologist?'"
Trista said although Ryan didn't have a cancer diagnosis, she accomplished the difficult task of scheduling him an appointment with an oncologist, who proceeded to conduct a full CT scan from Ryan's neck to his groin to check all of his lymph nodes for signs of cancer in late 2020.
"That came back negative, which was good," Ryan said.
"It was a weird feeling, because your cancer screening comes back negative and you're like, 'Well that's great, I don't have cancer,' but then on the other side of that is, 'Well, what do I have?'"
Ryan lamented about how he had to continue looking answers and wasn't feeling any better.
"It's not like they cured whatever was going on, they just eliminated one potential source, and a significant source," Ryan explained.
Ryan and Trista claimed the process to Ryan's diagnosis was exhausting and expensive.
"You have to get doctors to advocate for you, and you have to work through the insurance company, because the insurance company is not going to pay for it unless the doctors, and not only your doctors but their doctors, have to review the case," Ryan said.
"It took forever to get the CT scan, and so meanwhile you're sitting there thinking, 'Well, do I have cancer? And if I do have cancer, then shouldn't I be starting to treat it?'' But you're not, because you're waiting for this sort of bureaucratic process to happen."
Trista, a former Dancing with the Stars and Fear Factor contestant, changed her last name from Rehn to Sutter when she married Ryan in December 2003.
Trista & Ryan's Wedding's two-hour finale -- which featured the couple's wedding ceremony and reception at the Lodge in Rancho Mirage resort in Palm Springs, CA -- drew over 17 million viewers when it aired on ABC on December 10, 2003.
Trista and Ryan are still happily married with two children, ages 13 and 12. The couple welcomed a son, Maxwell Alston, in July 2007 followed by a daughter, Blakesley Grace, who was born in April 2009.