1The Centre for Liver and Digestive Disorders, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH16 4SA, United Kingdom. email@example.com.
2The Centre for Liver and Digestive Disorders, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH16 4SA, United Kingdom.
3General Adult Psychiatry, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Edinburgh, EH10 5HF, United Kingdom.
Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness which can have a devastating impact on an individual's quality of life. Comorbidities are high amongst patients and life expectancy is approximately 15 years less than the general population. Despite the well-known increased mortality, little is known about the impact of gastrointestinal and liver disease on patients with schizophrenia. We aimed to review the literature and to make recommendations regarding future care. Literature searches were performed on PubMed to identify studies related to gastrointestinal and liver disease in patients with schizophrenia. High rates of chronic liver disease were reported, with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease being of particular concern; antipsychotics and metabolic syndrome were contributing factors. Rates of acute liver failure were low but have been associated with antipsychotic use and paracetamol overdose. Coeliac disease has historically been linked to schizophrenia; however, recent research suggests that a causal link is yet to be proven. Evidence is emerging regarding the relationships between schizophrenia and peptic ulcer disease, inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome; clinical vigilance regarding these conditions should be high. Patients with schizophrenia poorly engage with bowel cancer screening programmes, leading to late diagnosis and increased mortality. Clozapine induced constipation is a significant issue for many patients and requires close monitoring. There is a significant burden of gastrointestinal and liver disease amongst patients with schizophrenia. Better levels of support from all members of the medical team are essential to ensure that appropriate, timely care is provided.