Jeff Hordley, 49, joined the cast of Emmerdale back in 2000 and has been a part of the Emmerdale family up until 2006 when his character was written out of the series. His convincing portrayal of a bad boy, however, meant the door was always open for his return, the cast in 2009. Still going strong, Jeff has enjoyed many years in front of the cameras, but sadly behind the cameras, the actor has endured a crippling condition which went undiagnosed for years.
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Jeff had suffered from extreme stomach cramps and painful diarrhoea which he put down to a severe case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
But, over time, Jeff’s symptoms began to get much worse until eventually he could no longer ignore the fact that something was far more serious with his health.
Speaking with The Mirror, Jeff revealed: “As well as the diarrhoea and cramps I’d have episodes of horrendous stomach pains and vomiting.
I dropped from 12 stone to nine – which is a lot when you’re nearly six foot – and I was really thin and pale.”
Jeff underwent several tests at the hospital to try and determine the cause for his paralysing cramps.
Eventually doctors were able to diagnose him with Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease.
What is Crohn’s disease?
Bupa explained: “Crohn’s disease can trigger inflammation in any part of your digestive system, causing tummy pain, persistent diarrhoea and ulcers.
It can also make you feel more tired than usual and lose weight.”
The disease can run in families and commonly starts in people between 15 and 30.
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“When I was just nine, my mum died from the very same illness.
My reaction was, ‘Am I going to die too?,” explained the actor. Thankfully, due to medical advances, the disease is much easier to treat nowadays and after an operation, Jeff was put on medication and was given a clean bill of health.
Jeff decided to respect his body more serious and decided to give up smoking, cut down on alcohol and remove processed foods from his diet.
Bupa said: “If you have Crohn’s disease, your symptoms may range from mild to very bad.
“They may change over time and flare up and down. The main symptoms of Crohn’s disease include pain in the tummy, feeling extremely tired, losing weight, a raised temperature and feeling unwell.
“Crohn’s disease can also affect other parts of the body too including mouth ulcer, red and sore eyes, a rash on your skin and pain and swelling in your joints.”
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