IBS and gallstones


You can have gallstones without ever being troubled by them. However, if you regularly experience digestive problems and abdominal pain, explore a potential link between IBS and gallstones.

How do you know if your IBS and gallstones are linked?

Firstly, stones can build up over time in the gallbladder, but also in the spleen and the liver.

Depending where they are situated, gallstones can block the bile duct and interfere with digestion.

According to the Mayo Clinic symptoms may include:

  • Sudden and rapidly intensifying pain in the upper right portion of your abdomen
  • Sudden and rapidly intensifying pain in the center of your abdomen, just below your breastbone
  • Back pain between your shoulder blades
  • Pain in your right shoulder
  • Nausea or vomiting

However, the Mayo Clinic also states that gallstones that don’t cause any signs and symptoms typically don’t need treatment.

What causes gallstones?

From a medical perspective “it’s not clear what causes gallstones to form.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Doctors think gallstones may result when your bile contains too much cholesterol or bilirubin, or your gallbladder doesn’t empty correctly.”

From a metaphysical perspective, gallstones are considered as having an emotional origin.

According to The Complete Dictionary of Ailments and Diseases, Jacques Martel (2011),

“The calculi represent a pain deeper than the simple symptoms in the spleen, the liver or the gallbladder.

It is crystallized energy, feelings and very hard thoughts full of anger, bitterness, envy and even jealousy that have solidified in the form of stones, and have been maintained and accumulated over the years.”

To explain this further, emotions are like a wave of energy.

Emotions are meant to appear, inform us about a situation, and then the energy is supposed to roll through and leave our body.

However, if we feel the need to control our emotions, the mind can override that natural wave, blocking the emotional energy inside of us.

If we do this occasionally, the body is very capable of rebalancing.

However, when holding on to emotional energy becomes our default state, this energy builds up. Over time it can crystallise in many different places in the body, and cause pain.

Gallstones are one place where emotional energy can crystalise.

IBS and gallstones

If one of your IBS triggers is linked to a feeling of resentment, anger, bitterness, dissatisfaction you may find yourself periodically with these symptoms and/or inflammation in the gallbladder.

It would be wise to speak to your doctor and check if gallstones are bothering you.

One option could be to have your gallstones removed.

As gallstones often come back, the gallbladder may be removed entirely.

Some people find their removal a complete solution to their symptoms.

However, I have also read about IBS sufferers for whom symptoms have become worse since their gallbladder was removed.

What you need to consider

If you have gallstones, they didn’t appear out of nowhere.

As well as addressing the physical symptoms, it would be wise to address your IBS triggers and emotional causes too. That way you can prevent them coming back, or creating you any further suffering elsewhere.