Your thyroid: that small butterfly-shaped gland at the base of your neck that you’ve likely heard a lot about, but may not know much about. The gland churns out thyroid hormones, which regulate your metabolism. Even more than a calorie-burning machine though, your thyroid also determines your body temperature, energy levels, appetite, how your heart, brain, and kidneys function—and impacts “virtually every organ system in your body,” says Jeffrey Garber, M.D., an endocrinologist and author of The Harvard Medical School Guide to Overcoming Thyroid Problems.

When your thyroid is working well, your metabolism is humming, you feel energized, and your mood is stable. Too much or too little thyroid hormone, however, can make everything seem…off. Here, we separate facts from fiction about the popular gland so you can be informed, address any issues head-on, and start feeling like yourself again.

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