Jeff Hordley, who plays Cain Dingle in the TV soap Emmerdale, today talks about living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, with headlines about his "embarrassing" health condition.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease, the two most common forms of which are Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's disease affect around 300,000 people in the UK. Very often individuals will be diagnosed in their teens or even in childhood. Crohn's is a lifelong condition that is currently incurable and results in ulceration appearing anywhere along the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus.

Jeff's Crohn's disease was diagnosed in his 20's when he started experiencing stomach pains. He lists many of the symptoms that Bowel & Cancer Research hears of daily; fatigue, pain and weight loss. He was a drama student at Manchester university at the time and his condition meant that he had to drop out of his final year plays.

Symptoms of Crohn's disease include abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhoea and tiredness and blood in your poo. It is always advisable to get any such symptoms checked out by your GP.

Crohn's disease will have times when the individual is in remission and when the disease flares. These periods can be managed by changing your lifestyle - finding food and drink triggers and managing your stress, as well as medication. Bowel & Cancer Research has funded work which is showing promise in dealing with a singularly distressing feature of the disease, which is pain.

At Bowel & Cancer Research, we understand how isolating and embarrassing living with a condition such as Crohn's disease can be. We applaud and thank Jeff for his honesty about living with the condition. In his words

"I know it can be embarrassing to talk about it. But even simple solutions like being near a bathroom at work can make such an improvement"

so don't be afraid to stand up and be counted.