GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Over 12% of the U.S. population will develop some form of thyroid condition during their lifetime, according to the American Thyroid Association. A West Michigan doctor recommends keeping an eye on yours.

The thyroid, a small gland located in the lower part of your neck, regulates metabolism, controls heart rate and body temperature, according to Dr. Olesya Krivospitskaya, who practices Internal Medicine Endocrinology, Diabetes, & Metabolism at University of Michigan Health-West.

She said the most common dysfunctions are an overactive thyroid, known as hyperthyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, known as hypothyroidism.

“With hyperthyroidism, usually you can experience unexplained weight loss, increased heart rate, anxiety, poor sleep, shakiness in your hands, loose bowel movements, increased heart rate,” Krivospitskaya said.

With underactive thyroid function, the doctor said the symptoms are quite the opposite, including extreme fatigue, weight gain, slow heart rate, constipation or feeling tired all the time.

“A lot of times, there is a family history of thyroid problems because thyroid diseases, most of the time, they are autoimmune and there’s frequently a very strong family history of that,” Krivospitskaya said.

Because of that, there is not much you can do to prevent it.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have any control over whether you develop thyroid condition or not. So, if there is a family predisposition for that, it’s just recommended to regularly check thyroid hormone levels and just be aware of the symptoms as they develop so that thyroid condition can be diagnosed and treated appropriately,” she said.