A continuum multiphysics theory is presented for simulation of the ionic-strength-sensitive hydrogel and surrounding solution. The theory considers the coupled effects of chemical, electrical and mechanical multi-energy domains on the swelling behavior of the ionic-strength-sensitive hydrogel and is thus termed the multi-effect-coupling ionic-strength-stimuli (MECis) model. The MECis model consists of several governing equations, including Nernst-Planck flux system, Poisson equation, fixed charge density and mechanical equilibrium equation, in which the effect of the ionic strength is incorporated into the governing equation of diffusive flux and fixed charge. The theory is capable of simulating the swelling/shrinking behavior of smart hydrogel in buffer solution subject to the change in the ionic strength, and providing the distribution of the ionic concentration and electrical potential for applications of BioMEMS design. Apart from the ionic strength as the main stimulus, the influence of several parameters is discussed in detail, including the initial fixed charge density and Young’s modulus of the hydrogel.