MAGICIAN Dynamo was forced to explain publicly about his Crohn’s Disease after his drastically changed appearance prompted comment on social media.

The 35-year-old entertainer, whose real name is Stephen Frayne, explained how a bout of food poisoning while in Lebanon had prompted the disease to flare up.

As well as putting on two stone due to a change in his medication, he has also developed arthritis and has had to adapt his magic act.

He is one of more than 300,000 people in the UK currently suffering from Crohn’s Disease.

This is a long-term condition, a type of inflammatory bowel disease — along with ulcerative colitis and diverticulitis — that causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive system or gut.

It can cause abdominal pain, diarrhoea, extreme tiredness, weight-loss, mouth ulcers and blood or mucus in a sufferer’s stools. It is a life-long condition with no cure and is usually treated medically or surgically, or a combination of both.

Another sufferer is 48-year-old Angela Close who lives in Bolton and has her own business, The Beauty Lounge, in Bark Street in the town centre.

Angela was a fit and healthy 19-year-old when she began getting stomach pain and having to suddenly go to the toilet.

“This all happened right out of the blue,” she recalled. “I was busy with a day job and an evening job and I just thought I was a bit tired.”

She became steadily worse, however, dramatically losing weight and looking very pale and tired.

She was 20 and had begun training as a beautician when she went to see Bolton consultant physician and gastroenterologist Dr Kieran Moriarty.

He arranged a colonoscopy (a test which looks inside the bowel) and afterwards told Angela she had Crohn’s Disease. “I’d never heard of it before, but he explained it all and also said how important it was not to get stressed,” stated Angela.

She was prescribed two different medications, including a daily dose of steroids. “I started taking them one day and by the next I felt fantastic,” stated Angela.

However, there were side-effects: Angela’s face looked bloated and she gained weight. “I also didn’t like the idea of chemicals regularly going into my body,” she added.

She recognised, though, that medication was what was needed. On her insistence, she was eventually weaned off the steroids over a two-year period. “By then, I was feeling much better”, explained Angela.

“I’d read up a lot about Crohn’s and realised the importance of having a good diet, with lots of fresh fruit and veg rather than processed food, and keeping your life as stress-free as possible. My parents had an allotment so we had plenty of fresh fruit and veg and I cut out processed foods.”

Angela, who has two children, aged 15 and 13, has continued following these guidelines ever since and has had only an occasional flare-up of Crohn’s.

“I recognise when it’s starting, especially if something stressful has happened,” she said. “But, because I have a very supportive family and friends and an excellent staff, I keep stress to a minimum.”

She enjoys walking, going to the gym and playing tennis and realises she is very lucky. “I know that Crohn’s can make people really poorly,” she added. “It can certainly change your lifestyle.

"For a start, you always need to know where the toilets are when you’re out and about.”

Interestingly, her own condition prompted Angela to begin offering colonic hydrotherapy treatment in her salon and to sell live bacteria probiotics, which many people find have a good effect on the gut.