Tonsils, Appendixes, Gall Bladders and ME/CFS

So forgive me if this is a patently stupid question or has previously been discussed. I’ve looked and don’t see anything in archived posts here regarding the question I am about to ask below. Likewise, I can’t find any mention of related research with a google search.

My question is this. Is anyone aware of any research into whether ME/CFS (or long Covid for that matter) is more prevalent in those who have had one or more so-called useless organs (tonsils, appendix, gall bladder) removed?

In looking at the work of Davis, Phair, etc. we see many folks hypothesizing a bi-stability or altered steady state as the potential underlying mechanism of ME/CFS. I find it odd that evolution would result in humans having the potential for a bistability that causes such a terrible disease and that seemingly has no means of self correcting or resetting.

Likewise, I’ve always found it dubious that medicine concludes several organs are useless vestiges of our past. This seems like a logical leap made only
because science doesn’t know what these organs do and we can generally live normally without them.

Given the lack of real reason for concluding these organs are useless, it’s not surprising to me that research continues to trickle in pointing to these organs having uses, mostly related to immune function, that are probably conditionally important in circumstances (infection disease, etc) that are not frequently encountered by most folks today.

Combining the two ideas above, and readily admitting I am a non-scientist simply thinking out loud, what if one or more of these frequently removed organs is involved in helping snap out of whatever causes ME/CFS? To conclude, my question is simply has anyone ever looked into whether removal of one or more so-called useless organs is associated with an increased likelihood of developing ME/CFS, or perhaps more accurately, inability to recover from ME/CFS.

Edit to add one more thought. I strongly suspect ME/CFS is caused by a system or process that medicine is not yet aware of (e.g. like the 2015 discovery of the brain’s lymphatic system) or significantly misunderstands (like the incorrect assumption that exosomes are just cellular garbage). There are enough folks looking now that it seems like we would have more answers if the problem was in a well understood part of the body. This idea forms the genesis of my question above.
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Rufous McKinney

Senior Member
Interesting questions....I'd suggest you could set up a poll around here (altho they are not random, they can be interesting)

Yes to 2/3

Tonsils removed: mononucleosis round 1 at TEN years of age

Appendix removed: mononucleosis round 3 at 15 years of age

the latter event triggered extreme medical PTSD in my case which has continued for decades.


Senior Member
the gall bladder has well established functions

it stores bile in between meals so that when the next meal is released into the small intestine by the sphincter at the bottom of the stomach - a small sensory gland in the small intestine measures the fat content of the chime and signals the gall bladder to contract and release the required amount of bile, that it has stored from the liver, into the small intestine at the correct time.

the extra bile is important for fat absorption - without it people have difficulties digesting fats
it is also used to help suppress excess microbial growth in the small intestine - which is supposed to absorb food directly - not ferment it via microbes (that is supposed to happen in the colon only)

a person can live with only one leg - but it doesn't mean its a good idea to do so if you can avoid it