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According to the American Thyroid Association millions of Americans especially women suffer from a thyroid disorder and many of them dont even know it In fact thyroid disorders occur much more often than even many doctors realize The butterfly-shaped thyroid is in the neck its two wings wrapped around the windpipe just below the Adams apple This vitally important gland normally weighs less than an ounce but it can have an enormous impact on your health Think of it as your bodys metabolism regulator It does the job by releasing two hormones most of which is the iodine-containing hormone thyroxine The hormones help regulate your heartbeat body temperature the smooth working of your muscles how quickly you burn calories how swiftly food moves through your digestive tract and more Normally the thyroid doles out just the right amount of hormone to keep these processes humming smoothly But in some cases it may become overactive and pump out too much hormone called hyperthyroidism And on the other hand it may slow down and produce too little hormone called hypothyroidism Most thyroid problems-involving overactive or underactive glands-are caused by an autoimmune reaction Normally the immune system functions to defend the body from invading microbes In an autoimmune reaction however the immune system turns against the body itself and goes on the attack In graves disease the antibodies attach to the thyroid receptors and stimulate the thyroid to produce excessive amounts of thyroid hormones In both cases serious imbalances in the bodys energy regulation system occur The good news is that both kinds of thyroid problems respond well to treatment after they are diagnosedNormally the thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck just below the Adams apple Bayliss 1982 This butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck plays a role in your bodys metabolism By releasing thyroid hormones the thyroid actually regulates how your body uses fuel Morgan 1996 The thyroid is an
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