Hi...I would definitely believe that quitting smoking was a participant in your flare. You could have been in early stages of a flare anyway...but without smoking, your symptoms may just be more obvious.
What you're explaining seems to be normal flare symptoms...with a faster acting gut, the gas/spasming can certainly make one bloated and look preggo.
Are you on any meds at this time? if so, what?
You might consider probiotics...although some can cause discomfort. You could take them at night 2 hours after your meds (if you consider them)
Since your quitting smoking...have you been eating foods that could be contributing to some of your discomfort?
Hope you feel better soon,
*Heather* Status..Asacol (3 x2 daily); flaring /Dec 22, tapered to every 3rd nite
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed; Ranitidine (reflux); Effexor XR 75mg(depression); Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~vitamins/minerals/supplements; Probiotics....(Natural Factors Protec, Primadophilus Reuteri Pearls, Natural Factors Ultimate). @ bedtime
~various digestive enzymes as needed; started Omega 3
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS" worth it !!!