Jeff Hordley, 49, has starred in ITV’s Emmerdale since 2000. Throughout his time on the soap, he has been living with Crohn’s disease – a lifelong condition which causes parts the digestive system to become inflamed. He was first diagnosed with the condition at the age of 25 after suffering symptoms for six years. Speaking to The Mirror, the soap star revealed the key warning signs.
I’d have episodes of horrendous stomach pains
He said: “As well as the diarrhoea and cramps I’d have episodes of horrendous stomach pains and vomiting.
“I dropped from 12 stone to nine – which is a lot when you’re nearly six foot – and I was really think and pale.”
According to the NHS, people may also experience blood in their poo and tiredness.
The symptoms may be constant or may come and go every few weeks or months. When they come back, it’s called a flare-up, explained the health site.
After undergoing tests at hospital, doctors diagnosed Hordley with Crohn’s disease.
This was the same condition that caused his mother’s death in 1979.
He explained: “When I was just nine, my mum had died from the very same illness.”
How to treat it
While there is no cure for Crohn’s disease, a combination of treatments and dietary tweaks can help to keep symptoms at bay.
Speaking on ambassador to the charity Crohn’s and Colitis UK, the actor revealed how he keeps his symptoms in check: “Following surgery, medication and diet control, I’ve been playing the role of Cain Dingle since 2000.”
According to the NHS, medicines reduce the inflammation in the digestive symptom. They also stop the inflammation coming back.
Some people, as in Jeff’s case, undergo surgery to remove a small part of the digestive system.
“Sometimes this may be a better treatment option than medicines,” noted the health site.
Adding: “You’ll usually have a team of health professionals helping you, possibly including a GP, a specialist nurse and specialist doctors.”
Speaking to the Loose Women panel earlier this year, the soap star revealed his dietary regime, which consists of growing his own food and keeping active.
He said: “It’s great, we’ve done it for years, we have carrots and everything.
“It’s good for us to grow it. I have Crohn’s disease so where we’re eating what we grow, it’s better for me.”
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