Jeff Hordley, 49, has played the role of Cain Dingle on ITV’s Emmerdale for 19 years, first appearing on the show in 2000. But a few years before starting on the show he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and was afraid it might affect his career. The condition is lifelong and causes parts of the digestive system to become inflamed. Back in 2009, Jeff spoke to Express.co.uk to raise awareness over the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
A few years before starting on Emmerdale Jeff Hordley was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and was afraid it might affect his career
When the actor was aged 20 he began to get a lot of stomach pain. Doctors at the time put this down to irritable bowel syndrome.
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.”
So how does the actor treat the condition?
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 who has spoken out about their health in the past is Claire King.
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