At some point there will always be a trade-off between gaining some balance in your life and the side effects of the medication that it takes to get to that point.
I've only ever been on lithium. I'm 5'3" and weigh 125 lbs after being on it for 20 yrs. No swelling at all.
But I do have a little hand tremor, and I get up and go to the bathroom several times at night, and I'm thirsty all the time.
It's still worth it to me not to be so horribly depressed or manic and to have some kind of normal life for a change....