By Dr. Mercola Your thyroid gland, located in the front of your neck, influences almost every cell in your body. Thyroid hormones regulate your metabolism, and are required for growth and development in children and nearly every physiological process in your body. When your thyroid levels are unbalanced, it can spell trouble for your overall health and wellness. Evidence suggests nearly 60 percent of people with suboptimal thyroid function are unaware of their condition.1 While prevalent, it is often easily treatable and may reverse symptoms of other health conditions. Poor thyroid function is linked to health conditions such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, eczema, gum disease and autoimmune disorders. Symptoms of low function and the health conditions affected by low levels are varied, as the hormone is used throughout your body. Women are five to eight times more likely than men to have low thyroid function and 1 in 8 women will develop a thyroid disorder in her lifetime.