Hi MDons. Your question seems to come up a lot these days around here, I have no idea why! But I have this same problem, as do several others, and I can tell you that I ultimately found relief with a mild laxative. I agree with you - the first time I used a laxative it was not fun. I ultimately played with the dosage until I found the right one for me - it keeps my bowels moving at an acceptable pace for me, and my stool is not so soft that it's a mess to clean myself. I am using 1/4 dose of Miralax every other day.
I realize that sounds ridiculous, but if I don't use the laxative I will have a bm every 3 days or so, and it will end up being a pretty bad day of cramping and discomfort. And the day before? I will have had a whole day of achy, spasmodic pain on my right side. So I was pretty motivated to find a solution.
I am eating a gluten-free diet these days, which has eliminated a significant source of whole grains. So I am trying to keep my dietary fiber up with brown rice, and dried fruit (figs, raisins), and I do drink a lot of water. I also try to stay physically active so I think I've covered all the natural ways to keep bowel motility up. I just think that after years of chronic inflammation my colon motility isn't right anymore. I'm due for a scope, and have no expectation of finding active inflammation because I'm feeling really good, but there's always the possibility that this issue is related to stricturing, right? So talk to your DR about it, too.
49 yrs old, IBD diagnosis in spring '01. Proctitis, gastritis, ileitis.
Pentasa (3g/day)Colazal (9 pills/day), Sulfazine (1.5 g/day), Prevacid, folic acid, vit. D (2K iu), flax seed oil (2 tsp/day), mesalamine enema as needed. Gluten free as of 5/30/11.