Samantha Northcott traded partying, McDonald's and drinking for exercise, fresh fruit and vegetables - and was left with type one diabetes.

The 24-year-old is slowly coming to terms with the reality of having to prick her fingers and inject herself daily after revoking her lifestyle to what she thought was a positive one.

"I think it's really weird that I got diabetes because I made the change to a healthy lifestyle."

She moved home to Napier after being diagnosed in August from Hamilton where she had studied and worked.


"I was always such a heavy drinker. I thought I would never be able to have a social life again."

The student life she had embarked on in 2010 had taken its toll.

"I was running a student bar ... living the hospo life and waking up and having a Lift Plus and then having McDonald's at 5am for breakfast."

She then read Dr Libby Weaver's book about healthy lifestyles and started attending the gym, eating healthily and drinking eight litres of water a day.

Miss Northcott went to the doctor for other, unrelated issues, and instead walked out with diabetes.

"I did this horrible test where you drink a really sugary drink like flat lemonade and you have to drink it really quickly then stay at the doctors for two hours and if your blood sugars haven't decreased then you have diabetes, basically."

That was on the Wednesday, two days later she was called into hospital.

"They didn't tell me anything, just said I had to pack an overnight bag. They said you're going to be here for some time."

She was transferred to an acute unit and type one diabetes was confirmed.

Miss Northcott had lost some weight after adopting the new lifestyle and had developed ketones in her blood.

She said ketones could develop when people burnt fat, they could make the blood acidic which had the potential to induce a coma and result in death.

As she was coming to terms with how to manage her new condition she was finding herself in hospital every other day.

Miss Northcott said she became depressed and spent most of her mornings lying in bed. "I didn't have a reason to get up in the mornings."

She first moved to Hamilton in 2010 to study sport at the University of Waikato before changing to communications the following year. In 2013 she left and began juggling two jobs. Now, in 2016 she knows what she wants and is studying anatomy.

"Just coming home and re-evaluating everything and getting things in control has been good."

Nearly seven months on, she now says: "It's like a blessing in disguise."

She was now studying towards being able to help other people with dietary issues.

Her mum said she felt worried and blamed herself when her daughter was diagnosed.
"Had we had done something to cause it? Had she done something to cause it from over-exercising?"

After her daughter moved home, Mrs Northcott said it had been good to go through the transition together and learn what type one diabetes really meant.

"We aren't able to just pop down to the shop and have fish and chips on a Friday night."
Miss Northcott is further investigating the reasons for her recent diagnosis.

She is looking to visit a specialist next week.

She started a blog, No need for scales, for an outlet, a place to vent and find other like-minded people.

"There were no other similar blogs, so maybe people can be helped by mine too."

It can be read at