Gallstones – more to it than the five F’s?

By Eunice Minford, MA FRCS Ed, Consultant General Surgeon, N.Ireland

Gallstones are quite common (25-40% of the population have them) and they can cause a variety of medical conditions. However, it is only the minority of patients (10-20%) with gallstones that develop symptoms requiring removal of the gallbladder – many people live with gallstones without even knowing they have them and without any symptoms. Some conditions caused by gallstones, like pancreatitis, can be quite serious and even life threatening. Much more commonly, patients present with pain in the right side or across the top of their abdomen, often associated with nausea and vomiting. Some people notice it is brought on by eating fatty foods in particular, as the gallbladder is involved in digestion of fat – it stores bile and contracts to release bile into the gut when we eat a fatty meal. The pain can occur when a gallstone gets lodged, preventing the passage of bile from the gallbladder into the bile duct and gut.

Being a surgeon myself, it was not difficult to self-diagnose gallstone disease when I first developed symptoms about 10 years ago. I had been out for a meal and had eaten too much, along with having a particularly rich chocolate dessert. It tasted yummy at the time, but several hours later when I was in agony my body was saying something else! I eased the pain and the nausea by making myself sick – off-loading what was clearly an over-loaded system.

Over the next couple of years I had intermittent attacks, often precipitated by eating something that was too fatty.

On one occasion, I had a heap of melted cheese on top of a chilli con carne, a few hours before I boarded a flight home from Chicago. It was only when I was in the air on the plane that the pain and nausea started. Airplane seats are not the most comfortable at the best of times – the pain under my ribs on the right side was excruciating and no amount of adjusting my position could ease it. Making myself sick in an airplane loo was a feat in itself – but a necessary one that brought some relief. On another occasion it was mayonnaise in a coleslaw that sparked it off.

Now I wasn’t in any rush to get my gallbladder out – being on the other end of the knife was not something I relished. Perhaps I had seen too much and was aware of all the things that can go wrong – even though most of the time they don’t! So I had put off getting a scan or seeing anyone about it. At the same time, I didn’t want to land in hospital as an emergency case either, and it was probably the fear of the latter that eventually inspired me to get a scan. This confirmed I had a large solitary gallstone about 2-3cms in size. Quite a corker!

I cut down on my fat and dairy intake (but not chocolate!) and this helped to keep the symptoms at bay. It was around this time that I started attending Universal Medicine presentations and finding out there was perhaps a bit more to understanding gallstone disease than I had been told in medical school.

I was taught – and medical students are still taught – the process of gallstone formation, whereby there is an imbalance in the constituents of the bile (e.g. too much cholesterol) leading to tiny crystal formation initially, and over years these develop into stones. In addition, the risk factors for gallstones are those who are Female, Fat, Forty, Fertile and Fair – the Five F syndrome.

However, at Universal Medicine, Serge Benhayon was presenting that energetically emotions are the root cause of illness and disease. In particular, with regard to gallbladder disease, it was associated with the emotions of rage, frustration, resentment and bitterness. This was all news to me and went beyond what is currently understood in medical science, in terms of gallbladder disease. Yet, when I looked deeper into the science, there are understandings that support it. In particular, the field of psychoneuroimmunology is showing how our thoughts and emotions can affect our immune, endocrine and nervous systems to result in disease. There is also the science confirming that everything is energy and thus everything is interconnected – so emotions can and do affect the physical body.

It was therefore not too big of a leap to see how emotions like rage and frustration could have a role to play in gallstone disease. I had certainly experienced these emotions throughout my working life, and the hardness and toughness that I displayed on the outside was – if you like – mirrored by the development of a large hard rock in my gallbladder!

I arranged to see a surgeon about removing my gallbladder, as I knew there was no way this rock was going to disappear without me going under the knife! I knew that the operation to remove the gallbladder and the stone would be part of the healing process, but not the whole package. It would and did cure me of the symptoms, for which I am very grateful, but in itself it would not address or heal the root cause of why I formed the gallstone in the first place. In order to do that, I needed to look at why I got so frustrated at work when things did not go according to plan, my need for control and to have things be a certain way, as well as the underlying causes for any rage, bitterness or resentment I was carrying.

I didn’t consider myself to have much resentment or bitterness – but my body was saying something else! By looking more deeply inside and being honest, I discovered there were indeed issues where I was holding some resentment and bitterness. Through having esoteric healing sessions I was able to come to a deeper understanding of why I had these issues and to heal them. In addition, I had the support to start making more self-caring and loving choices for my body. Raising my awareness of and addressing these emotional issues is all part of the healing offered to me through developing gallstone disease.

Would I have become aware of these issues without the disease? Removing the gallbladder alone and leaving these issues unaddressed might just mean they would come out somewhere else in my body eventually.

By addressing these underlying emotional issues, my body has the opportunity to be more harmonious and at ease. As I make more self-caring and self-loving choices and stop being so hard on myself and those around me, that is reflected in my body and the state of my being. This example shows how conventional medicine and esoteric medicine work very well together – where conventional medicine addresses the symptoms of the gallstones and esoteric medicine heals the root cause of why I formed the gallstone in the first place, restoring me to a deeper place of harmony such that going forward I can make more caring and loving choices for my body – no longer ruled by these emotions.

A win–win all round – not just for my body and me – but also for those who get to work with a considerably more harmonious, much less frustrated and furious me!


Disclaimer: The understandings presented here are based on the understandings of esoteric medicine, esoteric philosophy and my personal experience supported with some scientific understandings. However, the specific understanding of the link between rage, frustration, bitterness and resentment and gallstone disease is not currently part of what is known as evidence based medicine and is to be discerned by the reader as to whether it is true or could possibly be true or not.

901 thoughts on “Gallstones – more to it than the five F’s?

  1. ‘I didn’t consider myself to have much resentment or bitterness – but my body was saying something else!’ It is so true that the body is the marker of truth. We cannot get ‘away’ with anything it also calls us to be far more loving with ourselves. Something I am still and feel will forever be learning.

  2. Your blog makes very interesting reading Eunice because our emotional out pourings must go somewhere and it would make sense that we are affected by them. Just take stress, this on its own can cause a lot of health problems as the health officials tell us that it can be the cause of cancer, heart attacks and nervous tension to name but a few. So it makes sense to me that we all have a responsibility to ensure that we are taking care of ourselves as much as possible, may be if we did this the health service wouldn’t be under such a strain trying to cope with all the symptoms that we present as ill health.

  3. Eunice, isn’t it amazing many of us especially health care professionals, do not want to be at the receiving end of being a patient, yet have no issues treating patients. I’m not a doctor but have worked in the health care profession for 20 plus years and hated being a patient. I used to feel so vulnerable and I needed to be invincible and be available 24/7.

    But somewhere along the way, we need to be reminded that we are no different to any other human being roaming around the world. Credentials or not, we have the same emotions as everyone else, the key is how we manage or heal them.

    I’m a lot more open to receiving health care services and letting go more of control and in that, I am learning and discerning what feels true and what doesn’t for my own wellbeing.

  4. As it is becoming more recognised how feelings and emotions can affect healing and that lifestyle choices have a massive impact on illness and disease rates there must eventually be more recognition of how emotions affect the incidence of things such as gall stones and that we have the key to true healing in our own hands if we so choose.

  5. An insightful sharing that seeks to show that surgery, whilst vital for many ill-health conditions, does not address the root cause of an illness. If we are to truly heal, we also clear our emotional body of past hurts and resentments

    1. Kehinde, you are spot on, any healing modalities, whether modern or complementary medicine, do not address the root cause of any illnesses, it simply addresses the symptoms. Which to a point is necessary, but will not truly heal the disease. The health care systems need to ponder on this and maybe it will not be at the brink that it is at today.

      1. If we only skim the surface of illness, and do not deal with root causes, the residue rises back to the surface to be cleared again and again, requiring repeat visits to GP surgeries and hospitals.

  6. Bringing honesty and responsibility to our illnesses, offers us the possibility of understanding whilst healing them and this can be really transformative.

  7. Our body doesn’t even know how to lie. We may disagree with what it presents, but there’s much healing on offer when we choose to surrender what it is communicating.

  8. This is very interesting. I currently have a large gallstone myself that had gone unnoticed until recently when it erupted and put me into hospital. Interestingly, while I have been considering what to do about it, I have had quite a few lessons showing me how quickly I can get frustrated over a seemingly insignificant thing and even more revealing, I have been seeing exactly how this, what I considered a mild moment of frustration, actually affects others and this is not in a mild way at all but the strength of it can change someone else’s entire day or perhaps even much longer.

    1. Thank you for sharing Doug as someone who has often been frustrated it is helpful to consider the impact not just on my body but also on those around me and gives me pause for thought about the occasions that I still express my frustration in damaging ways.

  9. It makes sense that underlying emotional issues stored in the body have to come out somewhere and although surgery is a much needed step in the healing process, the key to a deeper level of healing lies in addressing the root cause in order to return to a natural and more harmonious way of being.

    1. We can feel the harm that emotions are doing to our body. For example anger feels awful in the body if we just stop and feel what we are doing to ourselves, so it is not surprising that emotions should lead to illness and disease. What is more surprising is that the medical profession have not more interest in this area. Similarly with food, there is so little attention paid to the fuel we put inside ourselves. We care more about what we put into our cars than we care about what we consume ourselves.

  10. The five Fs – would it be interesting to know *why* these are risk factors? On the face of it I wonder why such disparate items should be connected to something as specific as gallstones?

    1. That is exactly what I thought Christoph. I was particularly perplexed at ‘fair” which out of all of them seems really random!! As we know everything is energy and gallstones are because of built up bitterness, frustration and resentment surely this does not only affect Female, Fat, Forty, Fair and Fertile?

  11. It can be a very big decision to have an organ such as the gall bladder removed but when we are willing to see and accept the removal as an important factor to support us to heal alongside looking at what is being played out energetically then it is a no brainer and something to deeply appreciate – the choice to listen and place the needs of the body and soul above and before anything else.

  12. For me I’ve mostly taken good care of my diet, and not drinking alcohol for years or doing drugs, but I can say from my experience that emotions have been so debilitating for my body, as good as any toxin I could physically ingest. I have definitely felt very unwell after a period of stress and emotional disturbance.

  13. Psychoneuroimmunology seems like a very important study for medicine to be embarking on, especially because of the drastic increase in illnesses and diseases that we see happening today.

  14. A great blog to read thank you, to understand how our emotions in regard to rage, frustration, resentment and bitterness, eventually build up in the gallbladder helps to realise that removal of the gallbladder is not the final part; it fixes the immediate problem but not the cause and working to release the cause is equally as important.

  15. I so can feel in my body that without addressing the underlying issue and energetic root of any physical ailment it is not truly healed and it can just pop up somewhere else in the body eventually.

  16. “By looking more deeply inside and being honest, I discovered there were indeed issues where I was holding …… ” It is so easy to deny what’s going on as we don’t want to feel the truth – hands up here. But when we address our medical issues with surgery if needed and looking and feeling deeper with other therapeutic support we can resolve long term issues. The Universal Medicine modalities have been – and still are – such a support for addressing the root cause of issues.

  17. What a great insight into the medical aspects of gall bladder problems and equally importantly the understanding and awareness of the energetic root cause underneath it .

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