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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
2,142 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

Dr. Oscar Novick
3,287 doctors shared insights

Diarrhea (Definition)

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


Feces (Definition)

Feces is the product of ...Read more