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Thursday 17th October 2019

Emmerdale's Jeff Hordley opens up about Crohn's disease battle

The actor has suffered since he was 20

Emmerdale star Jeff Hordley has opened up about how he balances his commitments to the show with his chronic health condition.

The actor has played Cain Dingle on the hit soap for 19 years, but it hasn't always been an easy road, as he's had to battle Crohn's disease.

Jeff suffers from Crohn's disease. (Credit: ITV/REX)

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He spoke about his experience of the condition in an interview with Express.co.uk, claiming he wanted to raise awareness of the disease.

Jeff began experiencing symptoms when he was 20, suffering unmanageable stomach pains. Doctors initially diagnosed him with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

"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," he said.

Jeff was initially diagnosed with IBS (Credit: ITV)

His symptoms were so severe they began to interfere with his studies, as exhaustion meant he couldn't make it to class.

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

I was sick and tired and I kept losing weight.

He was finally referred to a specialist at the age of 26, who diagnosed him with Crohn's disease.

The actor is married to Zoe Henry (Credit: Splash News)

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The actor, who married actress Zoe Henry in 2003, has been doing his best to manage his symptoms – which include diarrhoea, stomach pain, severe tiredness and weight loss – ever since.

He's found short periods of avoiding wheat, dairy, sugar and alcohol can help keep symptoms at bay.

He also maintains a regular running routine and incorporates aloe vera and probiotics into his diet to help ease digestion.

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