An Overview of Disease Burden, Mechanism, Traditional and Non-traditional Management of Type 2 Diabetes

DOI: 10.2478/jim-2019-0016


Diabetes is a major global health problem leading to high morbidity, mortality, and economic burden. Diabetes is connected to complex social, environmental, and behavioral factors and requires multisectoral evidence-based strategies to reduce its incidence and prevalence. Here we attempt to connect existing diabetes data with the underlying mechanism of the disease, while touching disease processes and traditional management approaches for diabetes and its complications. The major objective of this manuscript is to examine the effect of nontraditional treatment modalities, e.g. non-pharmaceutical interventions, supplements, alternative and integrative therapies etc., on diabetes. We performed an extensive literature search and review using electronic databases (PubMed and Google Scholar) to examine recent and historical diabetes statistics, the underlying mechanism of the disease, traditional treatments, remission possibility, and finally, the role of alternative therapies and supplements in its management. We found that there is no sufficient evidence to make most of the alternative therapies the first line of management and prevention approach for diabetes. Long-term and large-scale studies are needed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of alternative medicine. We feel that this review could urge other health researchers to plan comprehensive studies to examine the role of alternative or newly-identified therapies in diabetes. Also, this information can be useful for diverse health professionals and policymakers in developing and implementing evidence-based strategies.