The adrenal glands are tiny triangle shaped glands located atop each kidney. These glands are vital to our body's function and it is life-threatening when they fail. There are two parts of each gland: the cortex, which provides several hormones, including cortisol and aldosterone as well as androgens; the medulla providing adrenaline or epinephrine and norepinephrine. It is possible to live without the medulla functioning , but the hormones released by the cortex are necessary for life.
The following article explains what happens when the adrenal glands malfunction and Addison's Disease occurs. The following shows the role the adrenal glands have in our waking response, cortisol is released at this time in response to the stimulus by the pituitary gland. Without ACTH from the pituitary the glands will not release this needed cortisol, which allows us to go about our daily life.
Cortisol is integral to our body's functioning. Without it we can not get up in the morning, metabolize our food, handle everyday stress, in other words live! But those with Addison's Disease or adrenal insufficiency must do this with replacement steroids, we must learn to mimic the action of the adrenal glands as closely as possible. That is key to living well with Addison's or AI.
I wish you health!