Jeff Hordley health: Actor’s disease ‘I was scared it would stop my acting career’

Jeff Hordley grew up in Lancashire and received a BA in Theatre Arts at Manchester Metropolitan University School of Theatre. Jeff landed the dream role playing Cain Dingle in Emmerdale, in a recurrent role since 2000. For Jeff, however, life had not always been rosy and he revealed a condition he suffers with that began in his early acting training days.


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Jeff was first diagnosed with an inflammatory disease during his final year at Manchester Metropolitan University School of Theatre.

The soap star had experienced peculiar symptoms relating to his health for a few years but passed them off as nothing serious.

During his twenties the symptoms became more frequent and serious and was eventually compelled to see a doctor about his constant pain in his stomach.

Speaking to Jeff 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.”

What is Crohn’s

Doctors had initially thought Jeff had irritable bowel condition but upon further testing they diagnosed him with Crohn’s disease.

The Mayo Clinic said: “Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease and causes inflammation of the digestive tract.

“This condition can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhoea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition.


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“Inflammation caused by Crohn’s disease often spreads deep into the layers of affected bowel tissue.

“Crohn’s disease can be both painful and debilitating and sometimes may lead to life-threatening complications.

“There is currently no cure for the disease.”

Jeff added: “As well as the diarrhoea and cramps, I’d have episodes of horrendous stomach pains and vomiting.

“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.”

If you, or someone you know, may have the early signs of Crohn’s disease it’s important to speak with your GP about the best treatment options.

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