Jeff Hordley health: ‘I’ve been suffering for most of my life’ Emmerdale star’s condition

Jeff Hordley, 49, has played the character Cain Dingle on ITV soap opera Emmerdale since 2000. But before joining the show’s cast, the star was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and feared it may have a negative impact on his acting career as well as his life expectancy. Crohn’s disease is a lifelong condition in which parts of the digestive system become inflamed. Luckily for Jeff, the actor has been able to control his symptoms, and during his TV appearances has revealed how growing his own food has helped.

I was a drama student in Manchester and sometimes I had to miss lectures because I was too tired

Jeff Hordley

Jeff, who’s married to his co-star Zoe Henry, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 1996.

He first became aware of the condition when he experienced stomach pain.

Speaking to in 2009 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.”

The actor was diagnosed with the condition after being referred by his GP to a specialist at Manchester Royal Infirmary.

It was then, the specialist spotted his symptoms immediately.

The main symptoms of Crohn’s disease are listed by the NHS:

  • 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

But since his diagnosis, Jeff has found ways to control his symptoms and live a more comfortable life.

Speaking to the Loose Women panel earlier this year, the star spoke of the benefits growing his own food has had. 

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.”

Jeff added he has “listened” to his body over the years and now knows which foods to avoid.

He said: “I know what’s good for me and what’s not good for me and exercise helps me. It can vary from person to person.

“I’ve found for me personally, diet and exercise has help a lot.”

In February this year, his wife Zoe, 45, who plays Rhona Goskirk, opened up about her husband’s condition and revealed it’s changed their lives. 

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