(HealthDay News) -- The thyroid is a small gland at the base of the neck that helps regulate your body's metabolism.

A medical problem that affects the thyroid can disrupt these key bodily processes. The Web site womenshealth.gov mentions these risk factors for thyroid disease:

  • Having had thyroid surgery or radiation therapy directed at the thyroid.
  • Having an existing thyroid condition.
  • Having a goiter.
  • Having type 1 diabetes.
  • Having hair that turned gray prematurely.
  • Having the skin condition vitiligo.