Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic metabolic disorder in which prevalence has been increasing steadily all over the world. As a result of this trend, it is fast becoming an epidemic in some countries of the world with the number of people affected expected to double in the next decade due to increase in ageing population, thereby adding to the already existing burden for healthcare providers, especially in poorly developed countries. This review is based on a search of Medline, the Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews, and citation lists of relevant publications. Subject heading and key words used include type 2 diabetes mellitus, prevalence, current diagnosis, and current treatment. Only articles in English were included. Screening and diagnosis is still based on World Health Organization (WHO) and American Diabetes Association (ADA) criteria which include both clinical and laboratory parameters. No cure has yet been found for the disease; however, treatment modalities include lifestyle modifications, treatment of obesity, oral hypoglycemic agents, and insulin sensitizers like metformin, a biguanide that reduces insulin resistance, is still the recommended first line medication especially for obese patients. Other effective medications include non-sulfonylurea secretagogues, thiazolidinediones, alpha glucosidase inhibitors, and insulin. Recent research into the pathophysiology of type 2 DM has led to the introduction of new medications like glucagon-like peptide 1 analogoues: dipeptidyl peptidase-IV inhibitors, inhibitors of the sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 and 11ß-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1, insulin-releasing glucokinase activators and pancreatic-G-protein-coupled fatty-acid-receptor agonists, glucagon-receptor antagonists, metabolic inhibitors of hepatic glucose output and quick-release bromocriptine. Inhaled insulin was licensed for use in 2006 but has been withdrawn from the market because of low patronage.
Keywords: Diagnosis; Management; Newer drugs; Type 2 diabetes mellitus.