Hi......I have been working with Dr Lam for about 1.5 years. You are somewhat right that Dr Lam's writings are somewhat intended to scare people from self treating.
However, I did experience what he is talking about twice. Rhodiola made me worse.....yet it is in countless packaged adrenal fatigue supplements. I know it was the Rhodiola because I added it by itself. It stimulated me for a couple of weeks, and then I crashed. I figured that one out myself before working with Dr Lam.
Same thing happened with Licorice. It made me better for a while and then I started to get much worse. I didn't pick that one up myself since the transition to making me worse was slower and more subtle.
When I first started talking to Dr Lam, he got me to stop taking the licorice immediately. I started to get better within a couple of days of stopping. There is absolutely no one else that seems to know that. If it wasn't for talking to him, I probably would have kept taking the licorice and getting worse and worse. Now 1.5 years later, we are going to try it again since I am much better.
As far as vitamin C...if that lady thinks Vitamin C is silly for the adrenal glands, I question how much she really understands the adrenal glands.
This is from the book Tired of being Tired regarding vitamin C: " A building block for adrenal steroid biosynthesis. Vitamin C is depleted from the adrenal cortex when cortisol is being secreted."
The following site has an excerpt from the book "From Fatigued to Fantastic"
". Vitamin C is critical for adrenal function. Your body's highest levels of vitamin C are found in the adrenal glands and brain tissues, and the urinary excretion of Vitamin C is increased during stress"
Massive doses of vitamin C are also at the core of Dr Lam's program. It worked for me, but others on this forum did not do well with it.
I'm sure you were talking to the actual Dr Lam. The voice I heard the first time was the same voice I've heard for the last 1.5 years. And the same voice on all the videos on his website.
He is not perfect. I find that mineral replacement is missing from his program, despite noting in his articles that minerals are lost with adrenal fatigue. The other thing that pisses me off is that I know he is somehow affiliated with the Supplement Clinic. All his supplement suggestions come from there. It makes me trust him a little bit less, since it makes you wonder if he is just suggesting more supplements for increasing royalties.
However, because I have improved, I'm willing to put up with it. And he will phase out supplements when the time is right.
If Dr Walsh doesn't think it is a deterioration of the gland itself...he needs to learn about the General Adaptation Syndrome
It is documented that the adrenal gland grows during the adaptation phase and then shrinks again during the exhaustion phase.
However.....you do need to calm down the sympathetic nervous system....or the adrenal glands will never get a rest.
OK.... I have or have had all of those at some point. You have just described my exact symptom list !
Except that I have Prostatitis and that one would be tough for you to experience :)
By the way.... from a physiological point of view, your body is under chronic stress, or you would not have developed adrenal fatigue. Read this article that describes the work of Dr Hans Selye on prolonged or chronic stress. It pretty much describes what happens with adrenal fatigue.
During the adaptation phase, your adrenal glands enlarge to be able to produce the large amout of stress hormones you are asking for. Do you remember what you were faster, stronger and had more energy that others? I was like this for years. They called me the "freak" at the gym. I weighed 155 lb and benched 240 lb. Then I would play racquet ball for 2 hours and then bike home as hard as I could.
Note that in the above link.....he exposed the rats to excessive exercise and it also results in the same affects.
You don't have to feel like you are under stress to have physiological stress. Let me ask you this:
Do you have fast reflexes?
Do you have a strong startle response?
If you do....that means your sympathetic nervous system is dominant and you are wired at all times.....on edge. Basically in constant fight or flight mode.
In regards to the chronic congestion and heavy breathing, I recently discovered something that is helping with both of those. The heavy breathing is a symptom of low cellular oxygen. Low cellular oxygen (hypoxia) will also cause inflammation, leading to congestion.
There is a breathing method, called Buteyko, that I have been doing for a couple of months. It is counter-intuitive, but by practicing reduced breathing, more oxygen actuallly jumps from your blood cells to the cells of your body. There have been many clinical trials for the treatment of asthma, but it also treats other conditions...since all your organs will get more oxygen.
As a former over-exerciser, and I know you won't accept this right now....but your heavy riding days may be over for years. I ignored this for 8 years after I first knew I had adrenal fatigue. I kept playing tennis, racquet ball, mountain biking.....and gradually kept getting worse.
So learn from my mistake and stop the heavy exercise now. Just go for relaxing bike rides....or eventually you may not be able to bike at all.