There are many things that can cause adrenal insufficiency. If the adrenal gland becomes damaged, this will cause insufficiency. Autoimmune disorders, infection, tumors or genetic defects can be responsible for the damage. Adrenal damage can also occur from tuberculosis, AIDS related infections and amyloidosis, which is an abnormal build up of protein. Surgical removal of the adrenal glands will cause insufficiency.

Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency can be caused temporarily if a person takes synthetic glucocorticoid hormones like prednisone for awhile and then stops taking it. If the pituitary gland shrinks or is surgically removed it can cause Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency.