Ben Higgins tenure as The Bachelor may seem like eons ago, but it's really just a few years in the rearview. However, Higgins is still dishing on his time in the spotlight, and today he revealed that the entire time he had the illustrious title, he was battling a parasite.
Bustle reports that Higgins wrote about his experience with the parasite in an entry on his blog, The Mahogany Workplace. And while Bachelor Nation knows that the show involves exotic getaways, Higgins said that he actually got the parasite (specifically Strongyloides, a type of roundworm) before he handed out his first rose.
Before his friend Jordan got married, he invited Higgins and a group of 50 pals to Honduras for some pre-wedding volunteer work. Working with Humanity and Hope United, Jordan and Co. got busy helping build infrastructure, which involved digging in the local soil, which is how Higgins contracted the parasite.
"Wait...You didn’t know I had a parasite on The Bachelor?" Higgins shared. "I’ve never talked about it publicly. But I want to share the story with you because it shows how much I believe in love and relationships...even when it doesn't work the way I plan."
So, on top of dealing with the stress that comes with dating a group of women and having cameras all over the place, Higgins was dealing with this not-so-minor health scare the whole time.
"My stomach was in knots for months and there was nothing I could do about it. To complicate matters, I was dating 26 women at the time, so I wasn’t surprised that my stomach felt uncomfortable sometimes," Higgins said how his symptoms compounded this particular situation. "It first causes symptoms like swelling, itching, and bloating, but it can also lead to tissue damage, ulcers, and sepsis."
It took seven months before Higgins managed to get a diagnosis and two rounds of anti-parasitic medication. His parasite pal is gone now, but Higgins said that there are a few repercussions that came with his diagnosis. He can't drink beer or have eggs, though he admits that's a small price to pay to get some relief from the constant stomach pains.
Higgins also said that the diagnosis won't keep him from returning to Honduras in the future. Instead, he said that the experience gave him a way to connect with the people he was helping, who are sometimes not fortunate enough to seek treatment for Strongyloides. Forgetting the fact that he called Macklemore a "great philosopher," Higgins' view on his condition is a sunny take on something most people would rather forget.