Your thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in your neck just below your Adam's apple. The thyroid produces hormones that affect your body's metabolism, which controls how your body uses and stores energy from the food you eat as well as how certain organs function.
When your thyroid is not functioning properly, it can affect your body weight, energy level, skin, muscle strength, memory, heart rate and cholesterol level. Thyroid problems are very common, especially among women, affecting about one in every eight American women at some point during their life. However, thyroid problems often are misdiagnosed because their symptoms sometimes develop gradually and are confused with other medical problems.
The most common thyroid disorders occur either when your thyroid fails to produce enough hormones, a condition called hypothyroidism, or when your thyroid produces an excessive amount of hormones, causing hyperthyroidism. Most thyroid disorders can be diagnosed with a simple blood test, called a thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test. Treatment typically involves surgery, medications and radioactive iodine.