Jeff Hordley health: Emmerdale star’s ‘embarrassing’ condition – the symptoms

Jeff Hordley, 49, joined the cast of ITV’s Emmerdale in 2000 to play the recurrent role of bad-boy Cain Dingle. But not long before starting on the show, the actor was diagnosed with an inflammatory digestive condition – Crohn’s disease. Jeff was afraid the lifelong condition might affect his career. But since his diagnosis he’s spoken publicly about his Crohn’s disease, the symptoms he experiences, and how he best overcomes obstacles the condition presents.

Not long before starting on Emmerdale, the actor was diagnosed with an inflammatory digestive condition – Crohn’s disease

Speaking as a supporter of Crohn’s & Colitis UK, Jeff said: “You are not along if you are suffering from Crohn’s or Colitis…although sometimes you might feel as if you are.

“There are at least 300,000 people with IBD in the UK – I’m one of them.

“I was scared it would stop my acting career from taking off. Luckily it didn’t.

“Following surgery, medication and diet control, I’ve been playing the role of Cain Dingle since 2000.

“I know it’s embarrassing to talk about it, but even simple solutions like being near a bathroom at work can make such an improvement – so don’t be afraid to step up and be counted.”

Jeff’s Crohn’s began when he was aged 20, when he started to experience stomach pain.

Speaking to in 2009 he revealed: “Even though I tried to avoid foods that upset my digestive system, such as coffee and Chinese takeaways, I was still sick and tired and I kept losing weight.

“I was a drama student in Manchester and sometimes I had to miss lectures because I was too tired. I even had to drop out of my final year plays.”

He was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease a month before his 26th birthday after he was referred by his GP to a specialist at Manchester Royal Infirmary.

It was then, the specialist spotted his symptoms immediately.

The NHS lists the main symptoms of Crohn’s disease as:

  • Diarrhoea – which may come on suddenly
  • Stomach aches and cramps – most often in the lower-right part of the tummy
  • Blood in poo
  • Tiredness (fatigue)
  • Weight loss

A person with Crohn’s disease may not have all these symptoms.

The Emmerdale star experienced diarrhoea, stomach pain, severe tiredness and weight loss.

He said: “Some sufferers may also experience swollen joints, mouth ulcers, inflamed eyes and rashes on their body.”

With the help of a nutritionist, Jeff discovered going on a wheat, dairy sugar and alcohol free diet for short periods at a time helps his symptoms and energy level, Mail Online reported in 2013.

He also avoids coffee and monosodium glutamate, as these aggravate his condition.

While Jeff is no longer on medication, he takes aloe vera juice to ease digestion, probiotics to restore the good bacteria in the gut, and a supplements called simba, which reportedly supports the immune system.

Alongside these diet changes, Jeff also makes sure he goes running three times a week.

Another Emmerdale star’s who’s spoken about their health in the past is Claire King.

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