6 Foods To Avoid With A Pituitary Gland Tumor

A pituitary tumor happens when there is an abnormal growth in the pituitary gland, a small gland in the brain. 

In most cases, these tumors are benign, meaning they are not cancer. 

However, it can affect hormone function and other glands in the body. 

While there is no specific diet to treat or cure a pituitary gland tumor, there are ways that can help you manage certain symptoms, such as hormonal imbalances. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the foods to avoid and eat with a pituitary tumor. 

In addition, we’ll go over lifestyle changes to help manage the symptoms and what vitamins and supplements are good for pituitary tumors. 

Foods To Avoid With A Pituitary Tumor

Some foods are recommended to avoid since they may worsen the condition, increase the risk of tumors, or worsen symptoms. 

Processed meats

Foods such as bacon, sausages, deli meat, and hot dogs contain nitrates, which studies found might increase the risk of tumors in animals and humans. 

Processed foods

Some studies indicate a potential link between the consumption of processed foods and factors related to tumor proliferation and symptom aggravation.

They can also increase inflammation, which evidence suggests may increase the risk of prolactinomas (a type of benign pituitary tumor). 

High-sugary foods

There is some evidence suggesting that a diet high in sugary foods may have an impact on hormonal balance.

In fact, research shows that high-sugary foods stimulate the production of insulin-like growth factor (IGF), which promotes cell growth. 

Additionally, they can increase the risk of obesity or make it more challenging to lose weight.

Foods high in salt

Foods like processed meats, chips, canned foods, and pre-made meals tend to be very high in sodium. 

These foods may contribute to fluid retention and high blood pressure, potentially exacerbating symptoms like headaches.


Drinking alcohol can worsen symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting. In addition, it can interact with certain medications. 


Dairy may be problematic for people with pituitary tumors. Certain dairy products contain hormones that may disrupt the body’s hormonal balance, resulting in an increased risk of tumor growth. 

Keep in mind that if you are undergoing treatment (such as chemotherapy), it may increase the risk of symptoms and experience changes in taste. 

If you have nausea, avoid spicy, fried, fatty, or highly condimented foods since they can trigger the nausea. 

Listen to your body and search for those foods that you find appetizing and won’t trigger any of the symptoms. 

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Foods To Eat With A Pituitary Adenoma

There are no specific foods that are good to eat with a pituitary adenoma or pituitary tumor. 

However, focusing on a varied and balanced diet can provide nutrients to help nurture the body and treat its symptoms. 

A balanced diet includes nutrient-rich foods, such as:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Lean protein
  • Healthy fats

These foods provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation. 

Lifestyle Changes To Help Manage The Symptoms Of Prolactinomas

Besides nutrition, there are other healthy lifestyle changes that can help manage the symptoms of pituitary tumors and reduce their risk. Here are some lifestyle changes to consider making. 

Quit smoking

Smoking can increase the risk of pituitary tumors or cancer in general. 


Strive for at least 150 minutes of light to moderate activity per week. This is going to help with overall wellness and reduce the risk of obesity. 

Stay hydrated

Proper hydration aids with metabolic function, and it can also aid in weight loss. 

Reduce stress

Stress management may help reduce high blood pressure and inflammation. 

Proper sleep

Trying to get 7-9 hours of high-quality sleep can help with recovery and reduce cravings, which helps to prevent weight gain. 

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What Vitamins And Supplements Are Good For Pituitary Tumors?

There are some vitamins and minerals that can help support hormone function and promote a healthy pituitary gland. 

However, before you add any, make sure you speak with a health professional to determine the ones you need based on your goals and needs. 

Vitamin C

This is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce oxidative stress and reduce inflammation. 

Vitamin D

This vitamin helps with hormone regulation, including parathyroid hormone and insulin. 

Vitamins E and A

These are other powerful antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation and support good pituitary function. 

Omega-3 fatty acids

These healthy fats have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, resulting in a reduction in inflammation. 

Vitamin B12

This vitamin plays an important role in mood and energy levels, helping control mood. 

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What are the signs of a pituitary gland tumor?

Not all pituitary tumors may show symptoms. But if there are symptoms (due to tumor pressure or hormonal changes), here are the most common signs of a pituitary tumor: 

  • Headache
  • Vision troubles 
  • Pain in the face
  • Seizures
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of energy
  • Sexual dysfunction 
  • Feeling cold
  • Irregular menstrual cycles 
  • Losing or gaining weight without trying
  • Mood changes like anxiety and depression

If you experience any of the following symptoms, make sure you speak with a health professional to determine the root cause of the symptoms. 

Not all the symptoms indicate a pituitary tumor. So, it’s always best to talk with a professional. 

Can you die from a pituitary gland tumor?

In most cases (99%), these tumors are benign, meaning they don’t pose a direct threat to your life. However, they may cause hormonal imbalances that may affect overall wellness. But it’s not very common for people to die from pituitary tumors. 

What are the chances of pituitary tumor reoccurrence?

Recent research suggested that between 9-20% of people may get a recurrence event of pituitary tumors. This may even happen after a successful surgery. 

Can a pituitary tumor shrink on its own?

Yes, but the probability is very small (11%). In most cases, pituitary tumors won’t go away on their own and may require treatment. 

Speak with a health professional to determine what the best course of action is based on your current situation. 

How can you shrink a pituitary tumor?

A healthy diet may help with decreasing the risk of pituitary tumors. However, a health professional can give you the best treatment to help you shrink a pituitary tumor. 


A pituitary tumor is a benign growth of cells in the pituitary gland, which is located in the brain. 

While most of them don’t cause a significant threat to your health, they may cause unwanted symptoms, such as hormone imbalances, nausea, headaches, and fatigue. 

Currently, there are no recommended foods to eat or to avoid if you have a pituitary tumor. However, having a varied and balanced diet can provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can lead to a reduction in inflammation and reduce the risk of pituitary tumor symptoms. 

If you feel that you may have a pituitary tumor or don’t know how to control your symptoms, speak with a health professional. 

They can guide you on the best way to diagnose your condition, the best treatment, and what foods you need to avoid based on your symptoms.

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  1. Wang X, Ma L, Ding QY, Zhang WY, Chen YG, Wu JH, Zhang HF, Guo XL. Microglial NLRP3 inflammasome activation-mediated inflammation promotes prolactinoma development. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2021 Jun 10;28(7):433-448. doi: 10.1530/ERC-21-0137. PMID: 33974557.
  2. Ylli D, Sidhu S, Parikh T, et al. Endocrine Changes in Obesity. [Updated 2022 Sep 6]. In: Feingold KR, Anawalt B, Blackman MR, et al., editors. Endotext [Internet]. South Dartmouth (MA): MDText.com, Inc.; 2000-.
  3. Lu L, Wan X, Xu Y, Chen J, Shu K, Lei T. Prognostic Factors for Recurrence in Pituitary Adenomas: Recent Progress and Future Directions. Diagnostics (Basel). 2022 Apr 13;12(4):977. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics12040977. PMID: 35454025; PMCID: PMC9024548.
  4. Jaafar AS, Mohd Shokri SS, Paramasvaran S, Palaniandy K, Fadzil F. Now You See, Now You Don’t: A Case Of Spontaneous Regression of Pituitary Tumour. Cureus. 2020 Jul 14;12(7):e9174. doi: 10.7759/cureus.9174. PMID: 32802610; PMCID: PMC7425821.

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