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difference between diarrhea and loose stools
My stools seem to change every once in a while. This has been going on for years. I have had diarrhea and constipation for months at a time in the past. There is no concept of normal that I can relate to. The latest stools I have are loose and I am want to understand if this is diarrhea.

Loose stools are usually considered a form of diarrhea but the frequency would be the deciding factor. You usually have serious problems when you have to go quite a number of times per day. If you are passing these stools 3 times per day, I would consider yourself fortunate. What makes you concerned?

I would second that there is a significant difference between severe diarrhea where your body can't retain nutrients and electrolytes versus soft stool. If there is pain though, this is another story and a visit to the doctor is probably a good idea.

No, I don't have severe diarrhea. I have had that before, but I don't know when you are passing too much. I have about 5 loose stools per day and otherwise feel fine. I just don't want to have other problems appear because I let this go. No pun intended...

Not the first time I have heard a variant on that one... If you are concerned, a doctor's visit is the most clarity you are going to get. Going five times per day is outside the range of normal from what I understand so erring on the side of caution would suggest a visit.

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