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Doctor insights on: What Is The Difference Between Diarrhea And Loose Stool

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What is the difference between diarrhea and loose stool, or are they the same?

What is the difference between diarrhea and loose stool, or are they the same?

Define "Diarrhea": Stool texture (regardless of volume or frequency of movements) is defined by the bristol stool scale (bss), which ranges from 1 (hard, pellet stool) to 7 (loose, watery stool). Normal stool grades a 4 on the bss. On the other hand, "diarrhea" is defined by volume and stool frequency (typically more than 4-5 bowel movements/day). Tell your doctor as well about bleeding, fever, tenderness/pain. ...Read more

Dr. Oscar Novick
2,143 doctors shared insights

Loose Stools (Definition)

Loose stools is a symptom in which a person's stool (poop) does not hold its shape after it goes into the toilet. Instead of remaining a shaped piece of poop, the poop spreads out in the toilet bowl water. Very loose stool is called diarrhea. Loose stool can be caused by infections, certain foods or drinks, ...Read more


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What is the difference between diarrhea and loose stool, or are they the same?

What is the difference between diarrhea and loose stool, or are they the same?

Different: I believe diarrhea must include a serious increase in the frequency of the bms and looseness.Of course other symptoms such as fever, cramps, etc may be present. ...Read more

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I've had floating stools off and on for decade. MRCP, EUS, CT, colonscopt normal. What is difference between IBS loose stools and steathorrea?

I've had floating stools off and on for decade. MRCP, EUS, CT, colonscopt normal. What is difference between IBS loose stools and  steathorrea?

Ibs: is a conditions and u may have frequent bms normal or watery. Steatorrhea is a sign of fatty stools due to malabsorption syndrome which needs a ge consult. ...Read more

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I have abdominal bloating and loose stools everyday for over 4month; what are the differences between IBS and chronic colitis?

I have abdominal bloating and loose stools everyday for over 4month; what are the differences between IBS and chronic colitis?

See MD if chronic: many causes chronic diarrhea/bloat- many treatable/reversible so wud seek MD after discontinue milk/milk products, artificial sugar and sodas& caffeine for couple weeks as these are common culprits. red flags for urgent attention: blood, fever. weight loss, anemia. Pain relieved w BM is major distinction of IBS from chronic diarrhea, and "colitis" generally reserved for ulcerative colitis/Crohn's ...Read more

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What is wrong with me? I have loose stools nearly every day.

What is wrong with me? I have loose stools nearly every day.

Daily loose stools: Causes of daily loose stools include irritable bowel syndrome (usually associated with stress), lactose intolerance, or severe constipation (in which new food from the stomach comes to your colon as a liquid, has no place to go, and so leaks around the huge mass of constipated stool. This is surprisingly common and is sugggested if you have any past history of constipation. ...Read more

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Help please! is black loose stools common or should I be worried?

Help please! is black loose stools common or should I be worried?

Possibly: If you black stools are tarry (sticky) with a foul odor that would be cause for concern. That could be related to GI bleeding. ...Read more

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Can a mutivitamin give you loose stools?

Can a mutivitamin give you loose stools?

Check ingredients...: If your multivitamin is high in magnesium, you're getting a laxative effect equivalent to taking milk of magnesia (magnesium hydroxide). Alternatively, some pill vehicles can cause loose stool, even if the pill ingredients do not. In any case, stop taking the supplement & if diarrhea persists, another cause must be sought. ...Read more

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Does green loose stools associate with giardia?

Does green loose stools associate with giardia?

Not necessarily.: An infection with giardia can present with diarrhea or constipation or neither. Stool color is not a reliable way to determine the organism responsible, if any. Only a test for parasites can do this, and it takes checking 3 stool samples, because the parasites may not be present in every stool. See your doctor and get tested. ...Read more

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Can your gallbladder give you loose stools? If so, what is recommended?

Gallbladder: Gallbladder problems not usually associated with diarrhea as the synptoms are more of a blocking of bile by stones in the gallbladder. Diarrhea can happen after gallbladder comes out ...Read more

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When is best time to take Metamucil for loose stools? 1 tsp a day enough?

When is best time to take Metamucil for loose stools? 1 tsp a day enough?

Night: Night time if you normally go to the washroom in the morning, or first thing in the morning if you go to the washroom in the evening. ...Read more

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My baby has had loose stools for almost a week and a half now. Is that normal? 

My baby has had loose stools for almost a week and a half now. Is that normal? 

Loose stools: Depends on the age and the babie's diet, and sometimes the mother's diet. In many circumstances loose stools can be normal. Has there been a change in diet or a change in formula? Is the baby growing normally or not. If the problem persists without a good explaination of the cause, then discuss this with the babi's doctor to determine whether or not an examination is necessary. ...Read more

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Dr. Oscar Novick
3,289 doctors shared insights

Diarrhea (Definition)

Diarrhea = increased frequency of stools which ...Read more


Feces (Definition)

Feces is the product of ...Read more