Q A routine blood test showed that my husband’s cholesterol level is too high. He is slim, fit and doesn’t smoke, and as we eat healthy with no processed food and very little fat, it’s hard to know what he can reduce. The GP has suggested he take cholesterol-reducing medication. Does he really need to take these tablets?

AIf the figure is near the borderline mark, then there is an argument for leaving things alone. And if his levels are higher than that, there is an extra reason for taking the medication. If the medicines have side effects,  he should make a point of learning about them before starting medication.

QWe live next door to a dairy farm. My children (five and seven) always wash their hands before meals and after touching animals, but I am worried about the E. coli outbreaks linked to children visiting farms. Should I insist they wash their hands when they get to school?

AIf your children’s hands have been soiled on the way to school, or if they have taken off their soiled outdoor shoes when they arrive at school, yes, it is reasonable to wash their hands. The farm animal-E. coli cases are linked to direct stroking of the animals’ fur or fleece, combined with the fact that it is difficult to get young children (mostly under-fives) to wash thoroughly. The risk remains very small in your children’s case.

Your Questions

Every week, Living will feature an interactive column, ‘Well-Being’, where your questions on health, fitness, diet and nutrition will be answered by experts. Send your questions to
Living, c/o Deccan Herald,  75, M G Road, Bangalore-560001 or mail us at living@deccanherald.co.in