Information for the public

Looking after your general health

Looking after your general health

Medication for bipolar disorder can sometimes cause people to gain weight, and if they have depression too, they may not feel like being very active. This can lead to health problems such as diabetes, so you should be offered advice and support to help you stay at a healthy weight.

Healthy eating and exercise

You should be offered advice on:

  • healthy eating

  • how to make sure you get enough exercise.

If you start to gain a lot of weight or put on weight quickly, have problems with your cholesterol (lipid) levels or signs of diabetes, you should be offered more support. (See other NICE guidance for details of our guidance on obesity, lipid modification and preventing type 2 diabetes.)

General health checks

You should have a health check with your GP at least once a year. They should:

  • measure your weight

  • ask if you are eating well and taking regular exercise

  • check your blood sugar and cholesterol levels

  • check that your liver is working normally

  • if you are taking lithium, check that your kidneys are working normally

  • make sure others on your care team are given the results of your health checks.

If you have high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol (lipid) levels, diabetes, are overweight or have signs of diabetes, or you are at risk of having a heart problem or stroke (cardiovascular disease), you should be offered the treatment recommended by NICE. See other NICE guidance for details of our guidance on hypertension, lipid modification, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes – newer agents, obesity, physical activity, preventing type 2 diabetes and prevention of cardiovascular disease.

  • Information Standard