Do you always feel cold and sluggish? It could mean you have a thyroid problem. Or do you feel hot and sweaty with your heart racing? This too could mean you have a thyroid problem.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland found at the base of your neck that affects a large variety of bodily functions including body temperature, metabolism and heartbeat. Your thyroid is responsible for producing thyroid hormones, which are carried throughout your body by your blood. Thyroid hormones use food for energy and help your body stay warm. They also help to keep your brain, heart, muscles and other organs working properly. If you’re facing thyroid problems, it means your thyroid is either over- or underactive, which can cause problems almost anywhere in your body.

Hyperthyroidism (Too much)

This is caused by too much thyroid hormones in the bloodstream, which causes an increase in the speed of body functions, and can lead to weight loss, increased sweating, rapid heart rate, high blood pressure and other symptoms. If you regularly feel overheated and anxious it could be a sign your thyroid is overactive.

Hypothyroidism (Too little)

This occurs when the thyroid doesn’t make enough thyroid hormones. Without enough thyroid hormones your body’s functions slow down. Symptoms of an underactive thyroid include fatigue, weight gain and a cooler body temperature. If you’re feeling tired and down, then it could be a sign that your thyroid is underproducing.

Because your thyroid purpose affects a large portion of your body’s functions, diagnosis can be challenging. Speak to your doctor about any symptoms or concerns. You will likely need a blood test to detect your thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels. The TSH test is the most accurate test for diagnosing both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Your treatment will vary depending on your TSH levels.