A small butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the neck, the thyroid gland is a key regulator of metabolic function that plays a significant role in physiologic processes throughout the body.
When abnormal, the thyroid gland can be underactive (hypothyroidism) or overactive (hyperthyroidism). While hyperthyroidism is rare, hypothyroidism is much more common. People with hypothyroidism commonly experience fatigue, cold hands and feet, constipation, weight gain, hair loss, dry skin, depression, and poor immune function.
It is estimated that 30 million people in the United States have a thyroid disorder, yet more than half go undiagnosed. Proper lab testing should include TSH, Free T3, Free T4, Reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies.