Unpicking the mystery of Epiploic Appendagitis


On 16th June 2017, my wife and I had a car crash. We were parked up and hit by a drunk driver.

Unfortunately for us, we didn’t have time to strap in so we were flung around like something I can’t describe.

The doctors and nurses who treated us were great, but  because I had internal bruises and inflammation I was recommended to take ibuprofen.


Ibuprofen is a short term drug and is readily available over the counter, however it can’t be taken long term. I was given Naproxen because it is a longer term drug that is only available on prescription.

Second car crash

On 18th December 2017, I had another car crash. I was stationary and was rear ended by the driver who wasn’t paying attention. This caused more inflammation, and I had to take more Naproxen to deal with it.

Epiploic Appendagitis

In June 2018, I was rushed to A&E with a suspected fractured ribs but after a CT scan, they realised it was something called an Epiploic Appendagitis. Epiploic appendages are fatty growths on the bowel, and an appendagitis is when these go bad, sometimes they twist and cause intense pain.

An Epiploic Appendagitis is supposed to be self limiting and generally goes away within 3-7 days, but mine was hanging around for months. It was worse some days than others, although looking back, those days I may have had worse inflammation and taken more drugs.


Tip: Drink MoviPrep through a straw, as it has less gag reflex than drinking it out of a glass.

The procedure itself was painful in some places and at one point I blacked out from the pain, as the outer wall of my colon was inflamed.

An Epiploic Appendagitis exists on the outside of the bowel, so is invisible to a colonoscopy, but they were checking to see if it wasn’t diverticulitis or colon cancer.

Fatty Liver

On the CT scan taken in November 2018, they discovered the Epiploic Appendagitis had been shrinking but they noticed I had fatty liver. The blood tests had shown remarkably high markers for fatty liver but they had kept this from me.

In March 2019, it was revealed in a blood test that I requested that I had high fatty liver markers and the previous test in November showed alarmingly high levels.


During a test for hypermobility, the specialist noticed I had fatty liver, and pointed out the connection between long term use of Naproxen and fatty liver.

Research findings...

The liver works by helping the body regulate fat storage as well as producing an acid called bile that is passed into the digestive system or to the gallbladder to be concentrated to make dietary fat easier for the body to process.

Naproxen causes a condition called fatty liver, where the liver cannot function properly because of the build-up of fat.  A related condition is fatty gallbladder.

On the discovery of fatty liver, my doctor suggested reducing fats in my diet, so I have been reducing my exposure to dairy as I’m vegetarian and reducing dietary fats.

There is also a link with Epiploic Appendagitis and Naproxen, since the fat needs to go somewhere.

Another problem was excessive weight gain, where I gained 2 stone regardless of the amount of time I pushed leaflets through doors.

The discovery that this was caused by Naproxen shook my world, knowing I had taken it for 27 months without realising the harm it was doing to me. I can only hope my body will start to naturally repair itself.