Jeff Hordley, 49, has appeared on ITV’s Emmerdale since 2000, playing the role of Cain Dingle. But just a few years before starting on the show, Hordley was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and was scared it would stop his career from taking off. The condition is lifelong and causes parts of the digestive system to become inflamed. Back in 2009, Hordley spoke to Express.co.uk to raise awareness over the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
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
You 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.”
Hordley became an ambassador for Crohn’s & Colitis UK to help raise awareness for the condition, especially because he also lost his mother to Crohn’s due to complications following surgery.
On the charity’s website he says: “You are not alone if you are suffering from Crohn’s…although sometimes you might feel as if you are.
“There are at least 300,000 people with inflammatory bowel disease in the UK – I’m one of them.